Those books that do so become bestsellers overnight.
But much of the anger seems to be directed more at organized religion, accompanied by what appear to be serious and often strident calls for its abolition, as if that were at all possible, let alone sensible.
And there is an increase in those of us who call ourselves spiritual, whatever that means! At the same time, there seems to be a growing realization that there is something missing in many peoples’ lives, some hard to describe quality that may be called spirit. Some are calling for the infusion of this spirit throughout our lives if we are to build a better world for all, and for the need to enhance and nurture spiritual literacy. I’ve contributed to this myself, in Healing…. So what is going on? The rise of this so- called spirituality (again whatever that means) does seem to be matched with a decline in organized religion, much to the delight of militant and angry atheists and humanists (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, et al). Don’t religion and spirituality go hand in hand? Or do they? Can we have one without the other? Which came first? Is one an identifiable aspect of the other? Do they need each other?
Books appear that reply to the angry atheists, explain why there is a God.
But I want to go further in the defense of religion. I want to show you why I believe there is an urgent need to support religion in its many guises and how this may be possible. We need to build tolerance. Or do we? And the atheists and humanists also need to develop tolerance, instead of feeding and brainwashing easily influenced minds, a crime by the way of which the organized religions stand accused by the atheists themselves.
On the day that William Lane Craig debates in London with Stephen Law on Does God Exist, (a debate which Richard Dawkins declined to take part in) I ask -
What is the sane alternative?
My book Why Religions Work explores religious tolerance issues. It could not be more relevant at the moment with the world in its present state.
This blog has concentrated recently on the wonderful pilgrimages I have been on - to the Holy Land and to Turkey and more recently to Holy Georgia , Greece "In the Steps of St Paul" , Ethiopia and most recently my experiences in Iran.
"If I was allowed another life I would go to all the places of God's Earth. What better way to worship God than to look on all his works?" from The Chains of Heaven: an Ethiopian Romance Philip Marsden