Tracking the labyrinth of reading on the internet, from link to link to link, can unearth some pleasant surprises. I stumbled on this review for the re-issue of a book first written in the 60s, called “The Lord of the Absurd.” Written by Catholic theologian Fr. Raymond Nogar, it’s a study of the intersections between religion and science, philosophy grounded by the personal. I hadn’t even heard of Nogar, but I find his views–at least as expressed in this review–fascinating. He declares that unlike some popular views of the time, the God he worships is not the “God of the neat” but the “God of the messy.” Not the “Lord of order” but the “Lord of the Absurd.” In other words, the God of Nogar lives in the world we live in, which is anything but clean.
Fr. Nogar believed in the beauty of free wheeling thought and dialogue, where all opinions/traditions/perspectives were necessary to come to any real understanding:
“The vitality of these exchanges was in sharp contrast to the scripted and lifeless debates Nogar had found within closed traditions where everyone shares the same assumptions, the same methods and, thus, arrives at the same conclusions. He describes the “folly of the Packaged Deal,” where one is required to accept a whole system in order to appropriate any part of it. He warned of the dangers of “tribal” mentality, where ideological loyalty precludes any real inquiry, or of “flying the family flag” and using the “falling inflection” to bring a conversation to a dogmatic halt.”
I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a book, and a writer, I need to read.