Monday, August 16, 2010

Rector's Study August 2010

At the basis of humanity’s engagement with religion is humanity’s experience of God. It may seem an absurdly simple observation. It describes the plain fact that an aesthetic experience of God is determinative of a people’s or a person’s relationship with God. Yet, it is, I suggest a powerful insight. It indicates that for all the attempts at rational proofs for God’s existence, an endeavor stimulated by the intellectual and philosophical developments that characterize the period in western history known as the Enlightenment, are not determinatively persuasive on their own.
Western culture, of which our own is a part, overtly claims to assign definitive authority to rational thought and intellectual reason; however, in practice the collective culture can be found rather superstitiously idolizing the systems and the persons upon whom it projects its cultural valuations of reason and rational thought. In a sense, professors, physicians, and attorneys are the modern era’s shaman, wizards, and priests. Envy does not lie at the root of this observation; rather inspiration does.