Here’s an interesting reflection by Rod Dreher on how reading the mediaeval poet Dante (1265–1321) helped him get his life back on track:
Curiously, Dante never discloses the precise nature of his crisis. It’s not particularly important. By the time he has reached the summit of the mountain of purgation, the troubled but discerning reader will have gained insight into his own personal crisis—and a reasonably clear idea of the changes he has to make within himself to resolve it. One penitent, Marco the Lombard, counsels the pilgrim that it is a mistake to seek to blame others or fate (“the heavens”) for one’s own situation. “Brother,” Marco says, “the world is blind and indeed you come from it.” …
Or, to paraphrase another great poet who wrote three centuries later, “The fault, dear Dante, is not in the stars, but in ourselves.”
Hadn’t my therapist been telling me from the beginning that it was not within my power to change the circumstances of my frustration and sorrow, but it was within my power to change my inner reaction to it? Yes—but for some reason, I was only able to make this truth my own when Dante revealed it to me.
Yes, that is a difference between writers that sound good and those that wear well.
A while back, News sent a pointed memo to Rod Dreher. He was then with the Templeton Foundation, and on their behalf wrote a piece wondering why we-all didn’t get on board with Darwinism.
More broadly, many people of faith are drawn to the study of evolution to explore God’s work, and find a spiritual connection in their study of nature. This perspective was common in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but is not often enough articulated in current debates about evolution.
“Darwin Pushed to Margins: Why is resistance to evolution so strong among science teachers?” no longer seems to be online (readers, please link in the combox if you find it). News responded (2011):
Sorry, Rod, but that’s just too rotten a chestnut.
Fact is, 78% of evolutionary biologists are pure naturalists (no God and no free will). Only two of 149 eminent ones were clearly theists. Let’s start with that. …
It should be enough to arouse suspicion that the Darwin project is a religious one (for pure naturalist atheists).
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