Wednesday, August 20, 2003

One of the problems in discussing religion with the faithful is that they declare their faith rather than describing how it functions. In a society where religious structure is part and parcel of everyday life the distinction is unnecessary: in such a place one does not choose a religion any more than one chooses one's language or grandparents. Only in such a context, in its use, is religious thought capable of being profound. My apologies to Amy Sullivan but to be an 'intellectual' as I take the term, is to argue for the goal of a critical interrogation of EVERY assumption. Such a course is limited by the fact that we make assumptions every day from both desire and necessity, out of both our flaws and the need to communicate. Every language is a set of assumptions, the set I am using now is called 'English.'

By putting some subjects off limits by design, religion -in the context of modernity- sacrifices it's right to be called an intellectual pursuit. Not to worry, faith will never go away: Modernists tended to take for granted that they had no assumptions, and as postmodernists argue that probably made things worse.

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