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Document Details :

Title: The Quest for Meaning from the Perspective of Creation
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 58    Issue: 4   Date: 1997   
Pages: 381-398
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.58.4.2002377

Abstract :
This account is on the connection between the quest of meaning and the Christian belief from the perspective of Creation. First the most important notions are discussed. Meaning is related to the experience of the conditions of existence: time and space. The question of meaning is summarized by: Who am I within the contours of the existence which forces itself upon me in the shape of time and space? This question belongs to human beings and is as old as human consciousness. It becomes more manifest when we find ourselves in borderline situations. The meaning we attach to such situations is partly determined by the frame of reference one has at its disposal, the perspective, the system of cognitions and feelings which causes us to view reality in a certain way. We talk about a religious perspective when the discrepancies and even absurdities of everything we experience find a point of connection in the end. It is characterized by the conviction that the life the individual leads is a fragment in a larger connection which has its roots in Creation. When we want to sum up the Christian meaning of our existence, we have to look for that meaning within the notion of Creation. Belief in Creation is the very core of all kinds of validation activity emanating from the Christian spatio-temporal orientation. From the perspective of Creation, the world presents itself as a fabric in which separate creatures are connected. According to this viewpoint there are two acting alternatives which make the faithful experience of space and time concrete and communicative: the experience of hospitality and the experience of being fellow-travellers. Christian faith has a rich tradition in both fields, as much in the practical as formal dimensions of its creed. In this account the belief in Creation is used as the point of departure to indicate how meaning may be given concrete form. Exercising hospitality is related to the ordering of space; the experience of being fellow-travellers is related to the ordering of time.