01 August 2006

Thoughts to begin with....

I've been reading a lot of stuff of all sorts while doing this project and nothing summarizes my intent better than these two quotes....

The great irony is that American society is the most religious among industrial societies, in that more people call themselves religious. It’s off the charts. But the degree of ignorance Americans have about religion, often including their own, may be higher than anywhere. It’s a bizarre combination of factors which makes for uninformed strong feelings, most decidedly a bad mix.

Professor Harvey Cox
"Past, Present, and Future Tense"
Harvard Divinity School Online

In most traditions, faith was not about belief but about practice. Religion is not about accepting twenty impossible propositions before breakfast, but doing things that change you. It is a moral aesthetic, an ethical alchemy. If you behave in a certain way, you will be transformed. The myths and laws of religion are not true because they conform to some metaphysical, scientific or historical reality but because they are life-enhancing. But you will not discover their truth unless you apply these myths and doctrines to your own life and put them into practice.

Karen Armstrong
The Spiral Staircase

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