What is religion, this phenomenon that we are urged by the New Atheists to consign to the dustbin of history? For them it is fundamentally a belief or set of beliefs concerning a supernatural agency that often directs them to engage in silly rituals or commit violence against those who refuse such engagement. Crane believes this view is deeply misguided. It is one that would not only be rejected by believers; it is one that should also be rejected by atheists. Rather, he says, “Religion, as I am using the word, is a systematic and practical attempt by human beings to find meaning in the world and their place in it, in terms of their relationship to something transcendent.” In seeking to understand religion we need to focus not only on the belief, but also on the meaningfulness of the practice in relation to that belief. Thus the title of his book.
Thursday, March 08, 2018
… Must Atheists Trash Religion? - Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)