Monday, September 21, 2009

God is great, but is not quite "God"

Interesting interview on Fresh Air, with Karen Armstrong. She argues the idea of God we tend to use today is a recent invention. I think in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (it's been a while), Stephen Dedalus is asked whether the God he believes in is the "personal God" who hears your prayers, and intervenes, and has a long white beard, and so on with all the trappings, to which Dedalus answers, "Is there any other kind?" Well, yes, there is another kind.

Religion tends to work in two distinct ways. For some, it's a teaching to be learned. For (less numerous?) others, it's a process to promote learning. One of the problems with anti-theists lately is the failure to engage with both kinds.

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