Religion in a Modern World

Question: Does Christianity answer all of your questions?

Peter Hopkins: Well Christianity, strangely enough, does answer all my questions. I mean, it’s the lens through which I view reality. It’s how I make judgments. It’s how I respond to others. It’s how I define reality to all intents and purposes. The Christian myth makes sense to me. It provides a world that’s as orderly and stable to me as the … as the Greek myths did for the Greeks and the Romans did for the Romans. I … I don’t live in a dark world. I mean, I don’t … I don’t live in the sense that everything is going to go up in flames, and we’re all destined and doomed, and terrible things are happened … happening. But I do believe we live in what the scriptures refer to as a fallen world. Christian theology speaks of it as a world that has not achieved its ideals. And we are struggling, and moving towards them, and trying to manage as best we can. And certain ideas and ideals have been set before us. The person of Jesus Christ, for me, is such an idea and an ideal. I believe He really existed, but that doesn’t diminish the ideological power or the … the sense of imagination that is employed. And I aspire to live my life in the light of what I understand that truth to be – a truth which I have received through the wisdom of thousands of other smarter and cleverer people who existed before me. I admit to being a child of the Western Christian experience, and I embrace it. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not embarrassed by it. And I don’t deny my dependency upon it. It’s the vocabulary with which I work.

When I travel, as I often do, through Western Europe and I look at those great cathedrals and those monuments, they all speak to me. They all makes sense to me. It’s describing a world in which I did not live, but which still lives for me. And that’s very important. Part of my work, I suppose, is trying to call back, as best I can, the life of that world and the people that are far removed from it. I’m much comforted by the … the remark G.K. … once said that “Christianity is not a religion that has been tried and failed. It is a religion that has been wanted and never really tried.” And my job is to try it, and to get other people to try it on for size and hope for the best.

Recorded on: 6/12/07

 

Science hasn't found an explanation of spirituality.

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less