The Diocese of Niagara (Canada) has announced a new 'sacrament of blessing' which may be used for the occasion of civil marriage/partnerships. On their website one can find this material in support of a theological background to this new sacrament.
Reading it I am struck by the explicit and unembarrassed exaltation of the role of experience to trump the united witness of Scripture, tradition, and reason.
Indeed a paragraph in the introduction to this document nicely captures the flavour of the document as a whole (my italics):
"The first essay, A Theological Justification of Blessing Same Gender Relationships, by Brian Ruttan, argues directly for blessing of committed same gender relationships by integrating common Canadian social experience into the theological foundations provided by scripture, reason and tradition."
About 1001 questions run through my mind when I read this kind of thing! But the question which jumps out at me is this: who decides that 'common Canadian social experience' is worthy of integration into theological foundations along with scripture, reason and tradition?
But, generally, the question I am highlighting here on Hermeneutics and Human Dignity is this: what role does experience play in hermeneutics?