An audio version of this talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds.
Why do people offer praise and gain from it? Does God require, even demand praise? In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert and Mark discuss what can be wrongly implied by praise and what it might mean as an immensely rich practice.
Mark confesses to having been put off the notion, as if adulation were demanded by a divine narcissist, which Rupert responds to by considering the etymology of praise, shared by words such as appreciation and interpretation. The discussion develops to consider how praise is a disclosing activity, arising from a spontaneous perception of wholeness, beauty and existence itself.
They consider how praise is linked to attending, and the ways in which we reach out to see the world, even as the world reaches back to us, much as William Blake described when seeing “heaven in a wild flower”. And they address the question of why and how God is associated with praise. Praise, it turns out, is highly praiseworthy.
During the discussion the Boyle Lecture 2023 by Rowan Williams is mentioned, online here – https://youtu.be/5u9WGaWTgU8
The book on Shakespeare by Valentin Gerlier is also referenced, details here – https://www.routledge.com/Shakespeare-and-the-Grace-of-Words-Language-Theology-Metaphysics/Gerlier/p/book/9781032121406
For more dialogues between Rupert and Mark see – https://www.markvernon.com/talks and https://www.sheldrake.org/audios/sheldrake-vernon-dialogues