Tuesday 12 November 2019

'The Meaning of Life' and religion

IS RTE's new show 'The Meaning of Life' adopting an areligious format? The claim to be spiritual but not religious is common, almost fashionable.

The two guests to date have both expressed this independent spiritual capacity. But perhaps these statements unfairly dismiss the contribution of religion and its traditions.

While we are living outside the age of Christendom, largely our philosophy of life is still deeply Christian. Perceived problems of organised religion are its authoritarian structure and strict doctrine.

In Ireland -- a democratic society -- our way of thinking can be easily polarised to passively comply with this governance. The "authority of a minority" is not popular public doctrine which we see in hierarchical church institutions.

Here's the point. If we dismiss certain elements of religion based on unpopularity alone, we risk unfair criticism and deny ourselves of any meaningful contribution it may offer.

After all, spirituality is about awareness and that includes the culture, context and challenges of our society. To offer a final assertion, a person can be religious and also spiritual.

Emmet Tobin
Waterford City

Irish Independent

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