"Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance." ~ T.S. Eliot in "Burnt Norton"

Friday, January 13, 2012

Religious Thought vs. Religious Propaganda

Today in one of my classes we had a long discussion on the dichotomy in the title of this post, prompted by  this article by Marilynne Robinson. She says, "In our strange cultural moment it is necessary to make a distinction between religious propaganda and religious thought, the second of these being an attempt to do some sort of justice to the rich difficulties present in the tradition." What was interesting about the class discussion was that even after a full fifty minutes of discussing this topic, we still were not able to find clear distinctions. We circled around the ideas, and were able to place some words like "Socratic" and "critical" under religious thought and words like "force" and "manipulation" under religious propaganda, the line remained blurry and shifting. It is clear that there is a distinction. But what is that distinction and how do you define it?

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