A certain irony…

So, I’ve been looking at the statistics which says there is an increase of students interested in religious studies at ‘A’ level (such that Michael himself took back in the day). Could this be interpreted as an increase in religiousity and interest in the divine? Not if you put it in so strict terms.

Yes, (from numerous interviews) people are interested in the wider questions. But most of the curriculum involves philosophy of religion and philosophical ethics…a consequent increase of interest in those subjects (as well as theology and religious studies) can be explained not by belief, but curiosity. What a strange age where religion becomes a curiosity, like literature.


One thought on “A certain irony…

  1. Taylor talks about how younger people in the West have a self-imposed definitional distinction between spirituality and religion, where the latter represents solely orthodox religion (that which people serve to distance themselves from). The interest in spirituality is widespread – and this is surely an interest in religion that has simply been divorced from the name (because of the stigma attached).

    I agree that the interest is not explained by belief/faith, but I don’t think you can wholly dismiss it as curiosity either – I suspect there is more to it than that…

    And perhaps the “New Atheists” have succeeded where religious orthodoxy have failed: by demonising religion, they have made it interesting and ‘cool’ again. 🙂 I certainly have felt massively renewed interest both in my religious practice and in (re)joining religious communities as a direct result of the New Atheist insistence that “the time of religion has passed”.

    Nothing like someone forcefully telling you not to do something to make it appealing! 😀

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