I’ve had more than my share of occasions to write and speak about faith, but it’s generally been about others’ faiths, not my own. Summarizing one’s own can be tricky, at least if one prefers to deal with substance and not with labels. The term itself is slippery: is it intended to cover beliefs about the universe (metaphysics, cosmology), principles and guidelines for action (ethics), or the practices by which those beliefs and principles are inculcated into daily life, either collectively (religion) or individually (spirituality)? Is it some combination of all of these?
Some years ago, inspired by the This I Believe public radio series, I decided to sit down and write up a creed I could sign my name to. Having come across it again recently, I’m happy to see that it still seems sensible to me, so I thought I would share it here. The analyst in me feels like treating it as a found object, unpacking it for the ‘isms’ and ‘ologies’ it covers, even speculating about the person who wrote it. But the point of the exercise is really quite different: it’s to express in everyday terms, pithily and pointedly, the orienting concepts that guide you, without reference to schools of thought or faith traditions or other kinds of things that divide us and pose barriers to dialogue.
Here they are, a few years old but more or less congruent with what I still believe.