Archive for July 8, 2012
… some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge…
— Galadriel, from the Walsh, Boyens, and Jackson screenplay of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Last week, I discussed the rift that exists in Western society between our culture and our dominant religions. The rift matters, because it means the those religions can’t perform the functions in our society that a religion historically performed. This has given rise to a misunderstanding of the purpose of religion, and a misuse of religion within our national conversation.
It is vital to understand this. For reasons I alluded to last week, and will expand on here, it may be impossible to banish religion from the public sphere. If this is true, then understanding what religion is supposed to do can help us prevent it from being used inappropriately. (more…)