Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Practices are primary

[Nothing is ever lost: an interview with Robert Bellah - The Immanent Frame
by Nathan Schneider on 14/09/2011
Again, this reflects the fact that our preconceptions about what religion is are so influenced by Protestantism—either real Protestantism or the secularized Protestantism that dominates our culture—and its assumption that beliefs are the most important thing. But it’s clear all the way through history that practices are primary and beliefs are secondary. ...
In the end what I feel is most problematic about “I’m spiritual but not religious” is: what the hell are you going to tell your children? I’m allergic to the notion that so-called institutional religion—by which people mean organizations such as churches and synagogues—is bad. Institutions are very important and if you think you can get along without them, you’re putting yourself on the wrong line; you can’t.]

The right phenomenology of religion would always elude us and hence the rational compulsion is to settle for the sociological or at best the hermeneutic. The intuitive or rather the receptive option, however, is to immerse in distinguished revelations instead of attempting empirical approximations.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, through their life long esoteric pursuit, have produced a brilliant explanation of man's relation to religion that goes beyond religions. A diligent study of the same can drastically reduce the harvest of publications (un)covering God. [TNM55]

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