For Its Own Sake

The New Statesman interviews Rowan Williams:

If religion is pushed into private spaces, as increasingly it tends to be by our public discourse, we lose one of the most emotionally and imaginatively resourceful ways of seeing human behaviour; we lose something of the sense that certain acts may be good independently of whether they are sensible or successful in the world's terms. I suppose you could say that we lose the "contemplative" dimension to ethics, the belief that some things are worth ­admiring in themselves.

If you haven't read Marilynne Robinson's "Absence Of Mind", it speaks powerfully to the civilizational loss that a failure to grapple with. let alone understand, religious discourse and culture can bring. If you see the world as something to be understood, you will seek to understand it through many voices, idioms and perspectives. To dismiss all religion as mere anachronistic bunk is a closure of the mind, not an opening.

(Hat tip: Dreher).