If Owen Barfield had written a Mere Christianity, like his “oppositional friend” C.S. Lewis, this is what he might have said.
Where Lewis started with morality, Barfield would start with vision. Where Lewis addresses a flawed humanity, Barfield would invite us to seek participation in divine life.
This was a talk I gave at Southwark Cathedral on 27th September 2019 in which I tried to present Barfield’s vision of the past, present and future of Christianity, as I’ve fleshed it out in my book, A Secret History of Christianity.
I believe that Christianity is in existential crisis, at least in the west, so the talk is also a chance to re-imagine what Christianity might mean from the roots up. In a nutshell, it’s a re-emerging of the mystical tradition.
The talk begins 1000 years and more before Jesus to understand how the time was right when he was born. It looks at his teaching in parables as well as the meaning of the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection. It asks what it might mean consciously to live in the kingdom today and how that relates to the great issues of our times, from ecological collapse to mental ill-health and a new kind of economy.