At the beginning of 2022, I was thinking a lot about the nature of tradition, and how uncomfortable I was about the ways it’s commonly discussed — as either the source of all our evils, or as our sole salvation from them. And so, for my first series of the year, I decided to unpack my thoughts about the true nature and role of tradition in spirituality and our lives as a whole.
I started by introducing and defining the topic. Subsequent posts explored the following themes:
- What ‘faithfulness’ to tradition looks like in premodern, modern, and postmodern contexts
- Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy
- Religious Violence and the Shadow Side of ‘Orthodoxy’ – how we might uphold orthodoxy in a more generous way
- Creativity and Tradition
- The idea of ‘Holy’ Tradition
- Tradition and Jung’s idea of “the lament of the dead”
- An Integral approach to discerning how to appropriate tradition faithfully today
The overall theme of the series is that far from being something outside of our every-day lives, tradition is unavoidable: By virtue of being human, we are thoroughly traditioned. Yet, it is not a matter of simple repetition; whether intentionally or not, we always interpret and apply tradition in new ways in every generation. We are therefore active participants in tradition and have a responsibility to do this with as much intention and discernment as we can as we pass the baton of our traditions on to the next generations.