Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quote of the Day (Karen Armstrong, on Why Faith Is ‘Not an Obsolete Passion’)

“Religious faith is not an obsolete passion. Nor is it a delusion which people cannot help because they lack the brains or the education to disprove the articles of the creed. People choose to believe what cannot be rationally proved one way or the other, because they need this larger mythical dimension in their lives. We are now in a position to see that religion is not something that we can get rid of once we have progressed to a more ‘enlightened’ state. The eighteenth-century Age of Reason gave way to a strong and fundamentalist resurgence of Christianity in the nineteenth century. Similarly, the secularism of the twentieth century has given way to a renewed religious passion. People need to tell themselves stories about the world and their life in it, so that they have a sense of meaning and purpose. It is very hard to live according to the bleak light of the atheistic or agnostic day, which has rationally disposed of religious faith.”—Karen Armstrong, Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World (1988)

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