This talk is the third in the year-long series, “Reconstructing Religious Thought: Classical Themes Reconsidered.” This month we explore the idea of the divine or sacred taking on earthly form. The idea of incarnation is central to the Christian celebration of Christmas. A 19th century English hymn ends each verse with the line, “God in flesh made manifest.” That’s the idea behind the incarnation: that the sacred, the transcendent, have entered into the immanent world of flesh and blood.
The idea of incarnation is not unique to Christianity. The Hindu figure of Krishna is an incarnation of the deity Vishnu, for example. What might we discover for our lives today in considering this classical idea from the world’s great religions? How does the search for the transcendent find its way into our own lives today? These are some of the questions and ideas we will explore together as we gather for the first Sunday in December.