Friday 9 May 2008

Faith and doubt in dialogue

This, from the Archbishop of Westminster, is an encouraging sign:

I would want to encourage people of faith to regard those without faith with deep esteem because the hidden God is active in their lives as well as the lives of those who believe...Believers need to recognise that they have something in common with those who do not believe. But it is no less true that unbelievers might benefit from recognising that there is something of the believer in every person. Believers and non-believers need to recognise and understand each other better, more accurately, more appreciatively.

That's Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, eschewing his usual acerbic criticism of 'aggressive secularism' and advocating constructive dialogue with atheists. As regular readers of this blog will know, one of the features of contemporary Christianity that most dismays me is its demonisation of secularism and its retreat into defensive solidarity with believers of other faiths, regardless of their fundamentalism, against the raging hordes of 'militant atheism'. So it's good to see the possibility of a rational conversation between belief and doubt being re-opened. Let's hope it's followed through, on both sides.

You can read the whole thing here.

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