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Is Religion Necessarily Irrational?

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Today liberal culture speaks of ‘the Enlightenment legacy’, as if we thought that reason suddenly sprang from nowhere in the Eighteenth Century. Equivalently, we think of religion and especially Christianity as a matter of emotion and faith which is extra-rational, if not downright irrational, and dangerously opposed to the rational ventures of scientific understanding.However, this is a very foreshortened perspective. Up till relatively recent times, few people thought of religion and reason as being in opposition to each other. This was primarily because they thought of reason itself as something essentially spiritual.They naturally thought this, because reasoning is something done by conscious minds, whose reality a merely material explanation is in principle unable to account for. Although we now deploy, in processes of computing, myriad mechanical equivalents for logical, mathematical and grammatical processes, there remains an absolute distinction between a rational connection an...

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