Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: The fellowships encourages members to invent their own God.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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The fellowship encourages its members to invent their own God. Systematic theology is an outside issue, and dogmatic approaches to the natu...
The fellowship encourages its members to invent their own God. Systematic theology is an outside issue, and dogmatic approaches to the nature of God find no home in fellowship meetings. However, theism permeates the program as does the belief that escaping the bondage of self as a result of a "spiritual experience" will deliver the alcoholic from his craving for alcohol. Precisely defining the role of self, theism and the religious experience in human growth and change has been as problematic for AA as it has been for pragmatism. With different emphasis, James and Dewey psychologists celebrate religious aspects of experience but have little sympathy for institutional theism. AA finds that the spiritual experience, at least the sudden "white light" kind of experience, is a rare bird, and even when it occurs to be no guarantee of subsequent sobriety. Consequently, it has a fallback position that resembles Dewey's views of habit more than James's ecstatic faith. Nevertheless, both theism and spirituality remain an integral part of the program. To the pragmatists this spirituality is suspect. To the churches it is heresy.
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