A critique and re-visioning of worship from a post-critical perspective with particular reference to the work of Michael Polany
Werner Heisenberg said: `It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet.' This thesis is an exercise in thinking through the epistemological implications of the Einsteinian revolution as reflected in post-critical thinking with the practice of worship within the Presbyterian Church. Many of the assumptions undergirding the worship of the church stem from the Newtonian-Cartesian synthesis. These assumptions have been shown to be invalid, not only from an Einsteinian, post-critical perspective, but from a Biblical perspective as well. Science and faith are not stances that are mutually exclusive, inasmuch as their underlying epistemology, rooted in the motivations and structure essential to all knowing, is the same. The significant difference between science and religion lies in their different domains of inquiry, each requiring a different approach. To each domain of inquiry is linked a particular approach; the particular approach to knowledge of God is demonstrated to be worship. This being the case, a critique is levelled at the path being pursued for renewal in the Church of Scotland, and a different path suggested - worship, understood as living in the presence of God. The insights of post-critical thought (i.e. intellectual passions and tacit knowing) are then applied to the practice of worship, in order that it might become once again the `dwellingplace for the passionate search for God.' The folk arts are found to be of significant help towards this end. Response is then given in anticipation of the critique against experience. Finally, an evaluative and planning tool for worship is provided to help the material presented in this thesis be more easily accessible to pastors in the church.