Category Archives: And I Quote

“I believe …”

“We say, ‘I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth’. The form of the words might initially remind us of questions like, ‘Do you believe in ghosts?’ or ‘Do you believe in UFOs?’ — questions about something ‘out there’ whose existence is doubtful, where the evidence is hotly disputed.

But although there are unfortunately many, both believers and unbelievers, who treat the words like this, this wasn’t at all what they originally meant…. The words at the beginning of the [Nicene] Creed … are closer to the formula used by Buddhists when they make a statement of faith: ‘I take refuge in the Buddha’ — the Buddha is where I belong, the Buddha is what I have confidence in…. And the Creed begins to sound a little different if we begin here.” – Rowan Williams, Tokens of Trust, pp. 5-6

One thing Religious Studies is good for

“Arguing with people imposes an unfortunate necessity to find out what they [actually] think before you open your big mouth to contradict it.”

– Francis Spufford, Unapologetic (HarperOne, 2013) 69.

Homo narrans

“A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens – second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our days’ events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths.”

– Reynolds Price, “A Single Meaning: Notes on the Origins and Life of Narrative” in A Palpable God (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1985) 3-46: 3.

“[S]tory is for a human as water is for a fish.”

– Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (Boston: Mariner Books, 2012) xiv.

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