John Anthony West derides what he calls the Church of Progress. Me too. I am really tired of people pretending they are profound when in fact they are merely sheep following trends. The trend of the past tiresome century, and this one to date, is to regard religion as superstition, as if blind faith in “progress” or in “science” were anything but superstition.
A friend’s comments since I posted this reminds me that I should make clear that of course I did not mean that everyone who rejects religion does so only because it is fashionable to do so – merely that it is the fashion to do so, and the sheep do go that way. As to creeds, I believe it was Jung who said that the gods never reinhabit the temples they once abandon. Similarly, the old formulaic Christianity (and Judaism, and Islam, and Buddhism, and Hinduism, I would argue) is not something we can or should go back to; however, it (whichever one we were raised in) is likely part of what we step off from.
This piece, via my brother who called it to my attention a while ago, from The New York Times http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/god-talk/?emc=eta1 .
In the opening sentence of the last chapter of his new book, “Reason, Faith and Revolution,” the British critic Terry Eagleton asks, “Why are the most unlikely people, including myself, suddenly talking about God?” His answer, elaborated in prose that is alternately witty, scabrous and angry, is that the other candidates for guidance – science, reason, liberalism, capitalism – just don’t deliver what is ultimately needed. “What other symbolic form,” he queries, “has managed to forge such direct links between the most universal and absolute of truths and the everyday practices of countless millions of men and women?”