During the past 30 years, what we used to call æthe passing show of existenceÆ has turned into a global torrent of electronic communication and cultural change. Everywhere, Tradition is collapsing. Local fundamentalist reactions û hailed by some as evidence that æGod is backÆ û cannot hope to stem the flood. They are merely symptoms of faithÆs increasing desperation. In our time, Don Cupitt says, religion is no longer about gaining immortality, or the forgiveness of our sins: it is about becoming reconciled to our life's transience, to time and death. This ultra-clear and secular 'theology' therefore centres around the image of 'The Fountain', which close-up, is all noisy, rushing transience, but when we step back becomes a healing, unifying symbol of life's perpetual self-renewal. This is religious thought with no supernatural world, and with none of the local divine names. But it works.
The Revd Don Cupitt was a Life Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. His books include Taking Leave of God, The Sea of Faith and Solar Ethics were published by SCM Press and translated into many languages.