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Making Footprints Not Blueprints
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Making Footprints Not Blueprints

Author: Andrew James Brown/Caute

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Welcome to “Making Footprints not Blueprints”, a regular podcast about matters philosophical and religious. My name is Andrew James Brown and, despite being myself an atheistically inclined free-thinker, I’m also the minister to the Unitarian Church in the city of Cambridge, UK.The title of this podcast is borrowed from the philosopher Herbert Fingarette (1921-2018) who, in his book, “The Self in Transformation” (Basic Books, New York 1963), offered us studies that were “outcomes rather than realised objectives” which were offered to the reader as an encouragement to make “intellectual footprints, not blueprints.” This podcast tries to proceed in a similar fashion and takes seriously an insight of the poet A. R. Ammons who felt that true human freedom only comes when we have understood that full scope always eludes our grasp, that there is no finality of vision, that we have perceived nothing completely and that, therefore, and thankfully, tomorrow a new walk is a new walk. <http://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com>
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The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/05/the-freedom-to-be-tomorrow-what-we-are.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)
The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/04/a-mischevious-spring-meditation-on.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)
A few thoughts on why, as a minister of a small liberal-religious community, I need to stop being a player and adopt, instead, the role of umpire. In this piece, I draw considerably, and gratefully, on some of  Michael Oakeshott's ideas about conversation.The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/04/adopting-role-of-umpire-and-letting.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)
An exploration of Christian atheism that makes some connections with the Kyoto School of Buddhism via the theology and philosophy of Thomas J. J. Altizer and Don Cupitt.The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/04/cancelling-my-subscription-to.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)—o0o—If you would like to join a conversation about this podcast then our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 7th April at 19.30 GMT.  Link below.Topic: Cambridge Unitarian Church, Evening ConversationTime: April 7, 2021 19:00 LondonJoin Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/81603885416?pwd=ZXM5MkJmZE5GcGwzZ21qUzgvTWZIdz09Meeting ID: 816 0388 5416Passcode: 995320Here’s the timetable:19.15-19.30: Arrivals/login19.30 - 21.00: Questions to, and conversations with, Andrew James Brown moderated by Courtney Whalen Van de Weyer21:00: Event ends
A cautionary tale for twenty-first-century liberals. The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/03/firm-ground-is-not-available-ground-why.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)
Why building one’s religion and philosophy on sand rather than rock might actually be a very good idea.The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/03/firm-ground-is-not-available-ground-why.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this podcast then our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 24th March at 19.30 GMT.  Link below.Topic: Cambridge Unitarian Church, Evening ConversationTime: Mar 24, 2021 14:00 LondonJoin Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/85112215249?pwd=M2xIaHYwTkhvbW1SdDRZanpZdWl4Zz09Meeting ID: 851 1221 5249Passcode: 036110Here’s the timetable:19.15-19.30: Arrivals/login19.30 - 21.00: Questions to, and conversations with, Andrew James Brown moderated by Courtney Whalen Van de Weyer21:00: Event ends
I originally wrote this piece for Mothering Sunday back in March 2019 for the congregation of the Cambridge Unitarian Church and I offer it once again because I still think it says something useful and highly relevant to a liberal religious tradition which, at least in part, is willing to contemplate (if not always then attempt to answer) the question of how it might be able to move from a basically supernaturalist world view to a more religiously naturalistic one. But I also offer it now in the context of the murder last week here in the UK of Sarah Everard at the hands of a violent, male perpetrator. Sarah’s violent death has revealed, once again, the truly shocking truth that the great majority of women continue daily to live in fear of male violence and that this shocking and depressing fact never seems to change. My thought and hope is that one creative way forward might be by finding various ways to get our culture finally to let go of it’s obsession with, and conscious (or unconcious) comittment to, the supreme fiction of a violent, male, patriarchal, monotheistic god. The question then becomes what kind of supreme fiction might best be brought into play that could better serve all of humanity, male and female, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender alike? As will shortly become apparent, I think Venus or Aphrodite is by far the best candidate. Although I have tried my best to avoid this, I fully recognise that my offering up here of Venus as my own preferred supreme fiction may still, occasionally, display the “male gaze” at work and I must, therefore, make it clear that I’m open being challenged and corrected at any point if and when my male gaze becomes apparent to clearer, wiser eyes than my own.Here's a link to Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”.The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/03/mothering-sundaythe-mother-of-matter-is.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this podcast then our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 24th March at 19.30 GMT.  You'll find a link to this meeting in the notes to the next episode.
Revisiting a meditation on love in the time of Coronavirus drawing on the work of the Italian philosopher, Franco 'Bifo' Berardi.The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/03/more-speed-more-strength-more.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this podcast then our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 10th March at 19.30 GMT.  Link below.Topic: Cambridge Unitarian Church, Evening ConversationTime: Mar 10, 2021 19:00 LondonJoin Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83791025180?pwd=eWptaWtnblFIaEc5WU1uREJ1N2lvQT09Meeting ID: 837 9102 5180Passcode: 014279Here’s the timetable:19.15-19.30: Arrivals/login19.30 - 21.00: Questions to, and conversations with, Andrew James Brown moderated by Courtney Whalen Van de Weyer21:00: Event ends
The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/02/what-learning-to-play-jazz-can-tell-us.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this podcast then our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 10th March at 19.30 GMT. Details in the next episode/blog.
How might one best overcome, and move beyond, many of the problematic, supernaturalistic theological ideas which still attach themselves to our culture’s inherited, underlying religious tradition, namely Christianity; ideas which, often in hidden and obscure ways, continue to influence our European and North American culture’s worst, but also very best, ways of being in the world?The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/02/overcoming-christianity-by.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this podcast then our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 24th February at 19.30 GMT.  Link below.Topic: Cambridge Unitarian Church, Evening ConversationTime: Feb 24, 2021 19:30 LondonJoin Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/82763640509?pwd=cEJXSXZlVkhqQk9HL1BCVHgrRzdydz09Meeting ID: 827 6364 0509Passcode: 366955Here’s the timetable:19.15-19.30: Arrivals/login19.30 - 21.00: Questions to, and conversations with, Andrew James Brown moderated by Courtney Whalen Van de Weyer21:00: Event ends
A new-materialist meditation for Valentine’s Day.The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-case-for-ecstatic-humanismbeing.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this or any other podcast then please note our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 24th February at 19.30 GMT.  The link will be published on this blog and in the notes to the podcast for that week.
S01 #18 - By the way

S01 #18 - By the way

2021-02-0618:16

Being a few thoughts inspired by the Scottish novelist Neil M. Gunn on the kind of way those of liberal persuasion might seek to follow post COVID-19.The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/02/by-way.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this podcast then our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 10th February at 19.30 GMT.  Link below.Topic: Cambridge Unitarian Church, Evening ConversationTime: Feb 10, 2021 19:15 LondonJoin Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83760492065?pwd=S2ZyRDRPZWttblhrSTl1NUQyVTYvdz09Meeting ID: 837 6049 2065Passcode: 286343Here’s the timetable.19.15-19.30: Arrivals/login19.30 - 21.00: Questions to, and conversations with, Andrew James Brown moderated by Courtney Whalen Van de Weyer21:00: Event ends 
A talk, in part written for the Cambridge U3A PHL 04: Humanism and Religion class, on what it means to be be “skeptics with naturally religious minds” or “open-minded ‘reverent’ humanists”.The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-case-for-ecstatic-humanismbeing.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this or any other podcast then please note our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 10th February at 19.30 GMT.  The link will be published in the notes to the podcast for that week.
An exploration of a few of the problems faced when trying to reiterate the important, in fact central, teaching of loving one another. The full text of this podcast can be found in the transcript of this edition or at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/01/little-children-love-one-another-or-how.htmlPlease feel to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this podcast then please note our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 27th January at 19.30 GMT.  Link below.Topic: Cambridge Unitarian Church, Evening ConversationTime: Jan 27, 2021 19:30 Greenwich Mean TimeJoin Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/88458495000?pwd=VUQ4UGJpdXAzOExNWjl2NE81RitJZz09Meeting ID: 884 5849 5000Passcode: 759630Here’s the timetable.19.15-19.30: Arrivals/login19.30 - 21.00: Questions to, and conversations with, Andrew James Brown moderated by Courtney Whalen Van de Weyer21:00: Event ends 
Welcome to this bonus edition of the “Making Footprints Not Blueprints podcast” which is a supplement to Episode 15. It is nothing more, nor any less, than a representative recording of the service of mindful mediation I offer the Cambridge Unitarian Church, UK, each week. For those of you who end up listening to this recording more than once, and who no longer wish to hear my general introduction (a quite understandable state of affairs!) then please note the service proper begins at exactly 2’ 15”. To get the most out of this recording it will help if you could print up, or have sight of, the order of service. Here is a link to a pdf version or you may read it in the transcript attached to this episode. https://www.cambridgeunitarian.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Evening-Service.pdfMake sure you are seated somewhere comfortable and reasonably quiet where you will not be disturbed during the service which lasts a little over forty-five minutes. On the order of service you will see certain passages printed in bold, italic type; you are invited to read those along with me so that the service takes on a responsorial quality rather than remaining merely a monologue. Also please feel free, along with me, to light both a candle at the beginning of the service, and one for a personal joy or concern after the mindful meditation has concluded.Just to note that this recording contains a representative reading, in this case George Kimmich Beach’s meditation, “And quiet our anxious hearts”, and a representative piece of music and a Taizé chant, “Stay with me, remain here with me. Watch and pray, watch and pray.” Were you ever able to join the Cambridge congregation one Sunday morning you will discover that the reading, piece of music and Taizé chant changes each week. Please be in touch with me via the link below if you would like the Zoom link for that service which is held at 10am GMT every Sunday morning. You will be made most welcome.https://www.cambridgeunitarian.org/contact/Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)
How Henry Bugbee’s naturalistic philosophy and some mindful meditation might help us get through the pandemic.The service of mindful meditation found in this piece can be downloaded at this link:https://www.cambridgeunitarian.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Evening-Service.pdfYou can contact me by email by going to the contact page of the Cambridge Unitarian Church website:https://www.cambridgeunitarian.org/contact/The full text of this podcast can be found at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/01/on-need-to-take-even-strokeshow-henry.htmlPlease feel free to post any comments you have about this episode there. Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)The next series of online, Zoom conversations will start on Wednesday 27th January.
Exploring the need for liberals to commit to some kind of actual, ethical, religious and philosophical practice, especially during times of crisis such as the one through which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all passing.The full text of this podcast can be found at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/01/an-ass-eats-its-hay-and-gardener-turns.htmlPlease feel free to post any comments you have about this episode there. Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)The next series of online, Zoom conversations will start either at the end of January or the beginning of February 2021.
A Christmas Day meditation on the question of how our everyday world of individual, finite things, including ourselves, relates to the whole. For this piece I gratefully draw upon two, twentieth-century  Czech thinkers, Erazim Kohák (1933-2020) and Jan Patočka (1907-1977).The full text of this podcast can be found at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2020/12/accepting-problem-posed-by-christmas.htmlPlease feel free to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)
Some thoughts on how and why one might commit to a religious/philosophical/political project that doesn't start, or even finish, with a blueprint. The full text of this podcast can be found at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2020/12/steps-not-steps-promises-and-art-of.htmlPlease feel free to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this, or any other edition, of the podcast then please note that our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 16th December at 19.30 GMT. Here’s the timetable and a link to that Zoom meeting:19.15-19.30: Arrivals/login19.30 - approx. 19.50: Streaming of the latest edition of Making Footprints Not Blueprints20.00-21.00: Questions to, and conversations with, Andrew James Brown moderated by Courtney Whalen Van de Weyer21:00: Event ends Those of you who have already listened to the podcast and who only wish to join in the conversation are invited to login to the meeting at about 19.50.Topic: Cambridge Unitarian Church Wednesday Evening ConversationTime: Dec 16, 2020 19:00 LondonJoin Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/88153425976?pwd=VDRVeHpwK2pPTWh3OWFaSEhKc1VmZz09Meeting ID: 881 5342 5976Passcode: 022849
An introductory exploration of how Nietzsche thinks "free spirits" are made and how becoming a free spirit might gift us with a meaningful way still to celebrate Advent and Christmas after the death of our old conceptions of God, the divine and the sacred.   The full text of this podcast can be found at the following link:https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2020/12/how-nietzsche-helps-us-better-prepare.htmlPlease feel free to post any comments you have about this episode there.Music, "New Heaven", written by Andrew J. Brown and played by Chris Ingham (piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Russ Morgan (drums) and Andrew J. Brown (double bass)If you would like to join a conversation about this, or any other edition, of the podcast then please note that our next Wednesday Evening Zoom meeting will take place on 16th December at 19.30 GMT. The Zoom link will be posted in the next edition of the podcast but here's the timetable for the meeting:19.15-19.30: Arrivals/login19.30 - approx. 20.00: Streaming of the latest edition of "Making Footprints Not Blueprints"20.00 - 21.00: Questions to, and conversations with, Andrew James Brown moderated by Courtney Whalen Van de Weyer21:00: Event ends Those of you who have already listened to the podcast and who only wish to join in the conversation are invited to login to the meeting at about 19.50.
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