In a couple of weeks I’m giving a talk at the local Episcopal church. My subject is the Protestant Reformation.
It’s a very small church — small in terms of the structure and the membership. This is the situation in a lot of small towns, I think. The traditional Christian faiths have lost membership while the newer, more fundamentalist, have attracted members. My town has beautiful churches, and St. Stephens is my favorite. It was built of local stone and is replica of a village church in England. It looks like Gfenn. I can imagine the church it replicates might have been a 13th century chapel.
My talk is supposed to be brief. I think I have 45 minutes for the whole show which includes a five-minute (or so) reading from The Brothers Path.
The enormity of the Reformation has slammed me a couple of times as I’ve tried to organize my talk, but when it comes down to it, it was a horrible thing. Millions of people died over a period of time that peaked during the Thirty Years War. Life was already hard enough with stuff like famines and plagues without fighting about God or some nuance of Biblical text. The thing is, they were not really fighting about God. They were fighting over power.
No one lets go of power without a fight.