WC Smith: Towards a World Theology

This is the book by WC Smith that has inspired me now for many years.


This book is difficult to obtain. I have two second-hand copies, one to keep for myself and one to lend out to anyone interested.

The following essay has material related to the topic, though it’s not complete, not a full exposition of what Smith was thinking of:

WC Smith – Comparative Religion (12k words)

Here is a YouTube lecture on Tillich and WC Smith:

The bit on Smith starts 3 mins in.

There is a nasty “verdict” on Smith’s world theology in the form of a photo of a drunken Obama with the cynical caption “Good luck with that plan buddy”. The photo comes up at 9:07 and fades out at 9:11, a rather inauspicious moment?

photo here

It’s also curious that Obama was chosen here. He offered hope to many people that he could heal the world, being essentially both a Muslim (by birth and early upbringing) and a Christian (by conversion) as well as being the son of a black man and a white woman. A seemingly perfect coincidentia oppositorum (or union of opposites). And really, it did not work out so well.


Update, 8 Feb 2019:

I have written and self-published a booklet titled Offering a New World Theology. It aims to be a simple, readable, and colourful response to Smith’s call.


Offering a New World Theology

Kindle edition: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07L9J4D7J/


Lin Yutang: The Importance of Living

Lin Yutang (1895–1976) was a Chinese writer, translator, linguist, inventor and philosopher.

“The Importance of Loafing” is chapter 7 of the book titled “The Importance of Living”. Various versions can be downloaded from here:

An illustrated pdf version of this chapter is available here:
lin-yutang-loafing-illustrated (10Mb)




David Tacey

This post collects links relating to writings of Australian author David Tacey.

BLB – Beyond Literal Belief

Introduction and first chapter of Beyond Literal BeliefBLBsamplechapter

Amazon link to Religion as Metaphor: Beyond Literal Belief: Amazon link BLB

Tacey talking about BLB at the book launch in 2015: book launch BLB (2 mins)

Full video of book launch: full book launch BLB (41 mins, Tacey speaks from 20 mins in)

The Spirituality Revolution


Full book: David Tacey-The Spirituality Revolution- The Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality (2004)



Interview by Paul Bishop:
1 David Tacey part one GODS & BELIEF (6 mins)
2 David Tacey part two SPIRITUALITY (4 mins)
3 David Tacey part three DEATH BY LANDSCAPE (6 mins)
4 David Tacey part four DENIAL & SUFFERING (6 mins)
5 David Tacey part five ART & SACRIFICE (6 mins)
6 David Taceypart six RESPONSIBILITY & CREATIVITY (6 mins)
7 David Tacey part seven LEARNING FROM FIRE (2 mins)
8 David Tacey part eight LOVE & THE AUSTRALIAN CHARACTER (5 mins)
9 David Tacey part nine THE TERROR OF ART (6 mins)

 JMS 2015: Dialogue between David Tacey and Laurence Freeman (1 hour, commences with discussion of “self”)




Yuval Harari: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Here are the contents and chapters of Harari’s latest book:


Part I: The Technological Challenge

1. DISILLUSIONMENT – The end of history has been postponed

2. WORK – When you grow up, you might not have a job

3. LIBERTY – Big Data is watching you

4. EQUALITY – Those who own the data own the future

Part II: The Political Challenge

5. COMMUNITY – Humans have bodies

6. CIVILISATION – There is just one civilisation in the world

7. NATIONALISM – Global problems need global answers

8. RELIGION – God now serves the nation

9. IMMIGRATION – Some cultures might be better than others

Part III: Despair and Hope

10. TERRORISM – Don’t panic

11. WAR – Never underestimate human stupidity

12. HUMILITY – You are not the centre of the world

13. GOD – Don’t take the name of God in vain

14. SECULARISM – Acknowledge your shadow

Part IV: Truth

15. IGNORANCE – You know less than you think

16. JUSTICE – Our sense of justice might be out of date

17. POST-TRUTH – Some fake news lasts for ever

18. SCIENCE FICTION – The future is not what you see in the movies

Part V: Resilience

19. EDUCATION – Change is the only constant

20. MEANING – Life is not a story

21. MEDITATION – Just observe

Here are some pdf (via plain text) versions of Harari’s latest book:

Yuval Noah Harari-21 Lessons for the 21st Century (full book)

Harari-21-Lessons-intro-ch1a – Introduction, Disillusionment (7k words)

Harari-21-Lessons-ch9a – Immigration (5k words)

Harari-21-Lessons-ch10a – Terrorism (4k words)

Harari-21-Lessons-ch11a – War (4k words)

Harari-21-Lessons-ch12a – Humility (5k words)

Harari-21-Lessons-ch13a – God (2k words)

Harari-21-Lessons-ch20a – Meaning (15k words)

More to follow ..


Jordan Peterson: Maps of Meaning

Jordan Peterson began work on the book Maps of Meaning (MoM) back in 1985 and the book was published in 1999.

A free pdf copy of the book is available here: Maps of Meaning PDF

MoM book page at Peterson’s website: Maps of Meaning

Three Excerpts from Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (half a dozen pages containing Peterson’s core messages)

For two decades, Peterson ran a course by that name at the University of Toronto. The 13-part lecture series based on the book was broadcast by TVOntario in 2004. Since then, there have been a few versions of his course available on YouTube.

The 2004 TVO lecture series begins here: 1 Monsters of Our Own Making
(28 minutes, with text and graphics edited into the lecture video, 13 lectures in all)

The latest (2017) version of the lectures is currently linked to at Peterson’s MoM page and the videos start here:

2017 Maps of Meaning 1: Context and Background
(2.5 hours, without editing, 12 lectures in all)

Peterson recently made an audio version of the book which he hopes will make it more accessible.

A sample of the reading is here: 23 minutes from Maps of Meaning

A good brief introduction for beginners is this 2011 TEDx talk:
Jordan Peterson | “Redefining reality in 6min” | TEDx (10 mins)



Further resources as they become available …

Slaying the Dragon Within us (2002 Big Ideas talk, 56 mins, good introduction to the MoM lecture series)

Bishop Barron on the Jordan Peterson Phenomenon (11mins, good overview with references to Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung and a brief statement of the theologian’s concerns with all three writers)