Five Voices, by Randall, H. W.
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- ISBN: 9781452011042 | 1452011044
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 6/10/2010
Five Voices depicts the course of a small, hastily arranged conference attended by five persons. The five persons are encouraged to draw spontaneously on individual experience in a collective attempt to analyze a cornerstone text of Christianity. Together they represent three different cultural backgrounds and distinctive positions on the issues of theism-atheism and mysticism-materialism.As the exchange develops, quotations are presented from two alternative versions of the text, each of which would incline the analysis in a unique direction. Aspects of both eastern and western religious traditions emerge. As two of the participants are educated psychologists, viewpoints from the fields of psychology and philosophy are generated and concepts are defined. Concepts from Transpersonal Psychology help to draw distinctions between realms of subjective experience. A third participant is Japanese, who after being raised as a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist had become a Christian Unitarian Minister.The book is comprised of three parts. Part 1 describes how the five individuals are drawn together through the agency of a common acquaintance. The character of each is illustrated through the initial encounter he or she has had with the common acquaintance in one country or another. In Part II analysis begins with the chairperson's offer of a sketchy background of the times of Jesus. The participants are encouraged to share candidly their insights, reservations and disagreements. Part III comprises a concise recapitulation of the main concepts and experiences that Jesus sought to mediate, as may be understood through language chosen from present day psychology and philosophy. The group's discordant analytic process extends over a period of three days.The story is told by an unidentified witness. Given the narrative style of Five Voices, sources and-or authors of the concepts borrowed from psychology and philosophy are acknowledged within the context where introduced.