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Religion



I view religion as the key to life, since it strives to tell us what life is all about and therefore how we should behave. I refer not to the brutal mob movements, which are a disgrace to religion, but to something more personal. independent, and thoughtful. We hear a great deal about the nonsense which infects and poisons university campuses, but beneath all the noise there is a very serious community. I was brought up as an Anglican (Episcopalian), which has developed into the broadest of churches, but I question whether it is broad enough to include heterodox like me. I say this simply so that you will not view the following as an attempt to proselytize.

Good WAISer Marga Jann is a member of Stanford Christian Faculty Fellowship, which is part of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. It is described in the attachments she sent. The membership surprised me. One would think that the Humanities Departments would figure prominently, since that is where religion belongs, but they are scarcely represented. Many of us believe that law is not just a social phenomenon, but has deeper roots; that is what the argument about the Ten Commandments involves.

The Law School is scarcely represented. There is one member of the Hoover Institution, Senior Fellow Charles McLure. Most of those on the list are from the sciences, medicine and engineering. The old conflict between science and religion goes on, and it is a good thing, because it turns out not to have dealt religion a fatal blow. In my youth, the distinguished Cambridge scientist Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944) was regarded as an admirable scientific oddity because he believed in God. Before we conclude that things have changed. we should study this phenomenon in European countries. Is it peculiar to the United States (and Canada), where the churches still have many formal members? What about Europe's sadly famous empty churches?

Ronald Hilton - 3/4/02


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