If you ask most people with only a passing knowledge of Christianity to explain the differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, they’ll probably mention communion. Catholics believe the bread and wine literally turn into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, while for Protestants the ritual is merely symbolic. Something like that? Martin Luther would have been horrified.
CS Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law, by Justin Buckley Dyer and Micah J Watson, Cambridge University Press, 2016 Continue reading “Would CS Lewis vote for Donald Trump?”
Equality, Freedom and Religion, by Roger Trigg
A new book attempts to ground a defence of religious freedom in cognitive science, but in doing so it reveals a lack of faith in freedom itself.
The Bible Now, by Richard Elliott Friedman and Shawna Dolansky (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Sam Harris on the science of good and evil, Intelligence Squared, London, 11 April 2011
American philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris, author of The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, is on a mission to break down the longstanding philosophical distinction between facts and values. Continue reading “Love your enemies… but don’t let them eat you”
Taming the Gods: religion and democracy on three continents, by Ian Buruma (Princeton University Press, 2010)
Ian Buruma’s short book is a kind of sequel to Death in Amsterdam, his book about the murder of Theo van Gogh and the limits of tolerance. It goes beneath the superficial counterpositions of today’s religion debates – religion versus secularism, multiculturalism versus intolerance – to identify some more interesting dynamics at work. Perhaps most usefully, Buruma shows that ideological disorientation within Western culture is at least as important as tensions between West and East, or even ‘secular liberalism’ and radical Islam. Continue reading “The politics of secularism”
‘Calvinist’ has become a dirty word, used to describe especially dour people. We have forgotten that John Calvin was not only a severe Christian but also a key figure in the intellectual making of the modern world.
The politics of belief in the 21st century
Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy, by Susan Neiman, Princeton University Press 2003 Continue reading “Why is life so unfair?”
Judaism and Enlightenment, by Adam Sutcliffe, Cambridge University Press 2003 Continue reading “Judaism and Enlightenment”