Religion, culture and counter-culture
DOI link for Religion, culture and counter-culture
Religion, culture and counter-culture book
Lucretius observed that ‘tantum religio potuit suadere malorum’ (‘so much evil could religion prompt’). People have taken this to mean that religion can do nothing but harm. Yet this is much like saying that Dr Johnson’s statement that ‘patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel’ is a condemnation out of hand of patriotism, instead of meaning (as it surely does) that scoundrels, anxious to excuse their basest actions, may lay claim to patriotic motives. What is now generally realized, even by the indifferent, is that religion is one of the ‘forms of the spirit’ : that it can no more be ‘abolished’ than can art; and that those who try to abolish religion are often animated by a passion which is religious in quality and in its way proselytizing. And no one can deny that religion and culture are closely associated — so closely, in fact, that there is doubt whether one can exist without the other. Culture without religion is empty; religion without culture is blind.