Comfortable Uncertainty

Jonathan and Steve have their deep conversation about truth, certainty, doubt, and wondering. Steven Williamson is a tattoo artist at Art Freek Tattoo in Providence, a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut, an adjunct faculty at the University of Rhode Island, and on the board of directors of Project Weber (an organization that reaches out to male sex workers in Rhode Island).

The Deep Conversation

How do we know? How can we know without a shadow and be completely sure of everything that we place our faith upon? The challenge is that we cannot completely know anything with total certainty. If this is the case, then how can we know anything, and what is the role and place for faith? There are those who believe and hold to an idea that faith has to have certainty and must be able to hold its own without any wavering. There are those who hold a similar place for science. For Steve and Jonathan, both positions with religion or with science are misguided.


There is something to the mystery and the art of knowing. To have such an approach leaves room for creativity, for individuality, for the influence of society, and for the mess of humanity.

This is not so much a conversation about the role of doubt in religion as it is about the role of uncertainty in life itself. We need to name those places where we face uncertainty and learn to sit in a somewhat comfortable way in those places where we do not know. In the moments of unknowing we find a place and purpose for an act of faith. Then we can begin to discern the type of faith, i.e. religious, in humanity, in faith, etc. Perhaps the only place of certainty that we can claim and have is in the assurance that we will always have uncertainty in our lives and experience.


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Next Episode – April Beth Wiles and conversation about growing up in church, spirituality, and other fun things.