Saturday, February 25, 2012

The fabric of...

It's intriguing how the word fabric is used so often to indicate something abstract as opposed to something material (as in upholstery fabric).  I've just been flicking through the various clippings I have on Evernote and again and again the usage relates to humans within a particular grouping.  I guess you could say that wasn't abstract, in the sense that humans are fairly material on the whole, but the usage is metaphorical rather than realistic, I'd think.

Here are some examples:

we see that the MET is a beautiful place and that the fabric comes from us all.   MET here is an abbreviation for Metropolis, and is used on the site, My Modern Met.

“The cost I feel is a deep unrest and a threat to the fabric of the church,” says one pastor. [Taking Your Church Missional].  Fabric in this instance is used in a quite common sense, but the next one takes the metaphor further: 

...mile upon mile of clogged collector roads [are] the only fabric tying our disassociated lives back together [The Missional Church in Suburbia, byTodd Hiestand]

...the power of a type of "curated membership community" that, while not new, has become an [sic] increasingly central to the fabric of modern professional life.  [Beyond Groups: why curated membership communities are today's most important networks, by Nathaniel Whittemore]  

Here's a slightly different usage: The Church is intrinsic to the vision of the purposes of God and the fabric of salvation.  [Jeremy Begbie on N T Wright and the Emerging Church.]   

And I like this one: Something of God must be woven into the literary fabric, not just embroidered on as decoration.  [Joseph Bottum writing about literary detectives in God and the Detectives.]

Or this line, from Kevin Ward, in a his Inaugural Lecture at Knox College in 2009Incarnation is a one-off, unique, unrepeatable break in the fabric of creation.

These are enough examples for one post, but I must just mention that when I did a search for fabric in my clippings, I brought up several posts by Kim Fabricius, a writer whose sharp, even mordant, wit is a delight, as is his wisdom.  A few examples of his 'doodlings' - plenty more can be found on the Faith and Theology site.

I reckon that adults should be admitted to the Bible only if they are accompanied by children.

I don’t have a PhD (for me the suggestion to do one was a temptation, not an opportunity), but tell me if I’m wrong in saying that unless it bears fruit in the virtues of gratitude, humility, and friendship, it does indeed amount to poo “piled higher and deeper”.

Enough is enough. Attacking the New Atheists is like shooting a man giving himself a lethal injection.

I like the idea of Liquid Church – as in liquid lunch.  And Messy Church has got to be better than the usual anal retentive one.  But the church patterned on saints I love and admire is Circus Church (William Stringfellow) – a travelling freak show. 

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