Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Worldview of Religion

I'm reading a book by Huston Smith, the renowned professor of world religions, under whom I studied at Syracuse University in the early '80s. One of his more recent books is entitled Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief. I ran across this paragraph which sums up well what I've read so far:

If science cannot tell us what (if anything) is outside our universe, what
can? Nothing definitively, but it would be foolish not to draw on
every resource available. Inclusively, things are neither as science says
they are nor as religion says they are. They are as science, and religion,
and philosophy, and art, and common sense, and our deepest intuitions, and our
practiced imaginations say they are. What all of these complementing
resources--with the exception of modern science, which works with a limited
viewfinder--have said about the Big Picture throughout human history has shaken
down into a single, wondrously clear and inspiring worldview. This
worldview, which I consider the winnowed wisdom of the human race, is found
distilled in the world's great, enduring religions. (p. 43)

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