Who is God? What do you “know” about God? What were you taught? What images come to your mind? What if you gave yourself time to name those things, and permission to let some, or even all of that go?
In this practice, we will learn from the ancient mystical tradition of apophasis — which focuses on what cannot be said about God or the divine. In our time together, we will define apophasis and learn from several short passage what it might look like. The majority of our time together will focus on exploring the concepts we have been taught to hold as “true,” about God, testing their limitations, and allowing ourselves to let go of some of them in order to embrace divine mystery and transcendence. We will allow ourselves to sit in the dis/comfort of “unsaying” what has been said about God to focus on what cannot be said.
Jen Higgins-Newman is a convinced Friend, theologian, feminist, and mystic. Jen came to Quakerism out of evangelical Christianity, and found solace in Feminist and Queer theology, which gave her new ways of redefining God, and apophatic theology, which reminds her that she does not have to define God at all in order to have faith and a spiritual practice. Jen holds a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and serves as the Program Manager at Beacon Hill Friends House where she plans programs to cultivate and nurture community and our spiritual lives.