Getting to Know Miceal and His Work - a little history
Dr. Miceal Ledwith was ordained a Catholic priest in 1967, was a Professor of Systematic Theology for sixteen years, was Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Vice-President, and subsequently served a ten year term as President of the University.
He served for seventeen years under Pope John Paul as a member of the International Theological Commission, a small group of theologians of international standing charged with advising the Holy See on theological matters.
He was Chairman of the Committee of Heads of the Irish Universities, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, and a member of the twelve person Governing Bureau of the Conference of European University Presidents (CRE).
Research - His Observations
His research interests had always been in the fundamental areas of religious belief, seeking answers to the "Four Great Questions", as he liked to call them: "Who am I? Where do I come from? What should I do? and Where am I going?" After the fall of the Soviet Union when communications improved between Western Europe and the former Soviet bloc countries, Dr. Ledwith discovered that more than 70% of the population in central and Eastern Europe had no allegiance to any form of religious organization whatsoever. At the same time he noted a distinguished American sociologist had described Europe as "a church catastrophe," while the Herald Tribune called it "the most godless quarter on earth."
Dr. Ledwith's researches confirmed his earlier suspicions: that the lack of appeal which organized religion had for so many people was rooted in a far more serious and complex issue - an actual distaste for organized religion as opposed to a distaste for spirituality. He was surprised to find that so many people found God attractive, but the churches that regarded themselves as God's instruments they found to be largely irrelevant. This was because they sensed organized religion had more interest in safe and predictable rituals, combined with hard and fast teachings rather than in promoting the discovery of God by the individual. He found that most people who had drifted away from religion did not seem to be holding anything serious against it; they simply believed that religion had nothing worthwhile to say to them anymore. In short he saw that religion was coming to enjoy the sinister peace of those whom the world had found irrelevant.
He noticed evidence of a very different trend as well, especially obvious among a certain segment of young people, a fervor for religion focused now around the personalities of charismatic leaders rather than on an attraction to the beliefs and practices of the religious system itself, which would have been the more usual thing in the past. This fervor often had a rigid and fundamentalist character, a need to have something firm and certain to hold onto in the most simplistic and black-and-white terms, almost always a sign of deeply buried insecurity and doubt. This ought to have been a cause for considerable worry among religious leaders who were perceptive, but instead it was usually interpreted as the God-given portent of a new religious revival among the young.
Drawing on his earlier historical research, especially in the history of the three great "Religions of the Book" that stemmed from Abraham - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - Dr. Ledwith came to detect two patterns. In many instances the religious beliefs and practices seemed to be fragmented pieces that hinted the existence of a much deeper and more comprehensive truth behind them all. The second pattern was that many religions often seemed in practice to have stopped subscribing to many beliefs of central importance proposed in the earlier stages of their own development.
He set out to examine the fundamentals of religious belief to discover the deeper reasons why people no longer found them meaningful, and above all to subject religious belief to the criticism of modern scientific method, since religious belief seemed to be the only modern discipline of knowledge and practice that did not progress and advance its insights in this way. Among other things this involved the painful separation of time-conditioned modes of thought and views of reality from the fundamental beliefs about God and human destiny. It was just such a confusion that caused the major religious crisis at the time of Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei from which the churches have yet to recover.
The insights of leading-edge science indicate a very different understanding of God and our place and purpose in creation than the ways of thought with which we were traditionally familiar. In the main this is because in the churches' theologies, cosmological views about the nature of reality have never been distinguished properly from the religious beliefs themselves. This is also as true of Judaism and Islam as it is of Christianity. During this search and reassessment Dr. Ledwith found the vast body of sophisticated teachings from Ramtha's School of Ancient Wisdom, and he has been a student of those teachings for many years since, applying them to all the fundamental areas of human concern.
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