Ex Libris Kirkland

Buy it from Amazon

First Written 2016
Genre Philosophy
Origin US
Publisher IVP
ISBN-10 0830844465
ISBN-13 978-0830844463
My Copy library copy
First Read July 19, 2016

Life's too short to pretend you're not religious

This book is all of the map, but it's pretty firmly on the same shelf as Francis Spufford's Unapologetic, a recent favorite of mine. And while I think Dark's general thesis is a little... shallow? soft? (I don't know, that's the Southern Baptist in me coming out ) he's still written a fascinating, passionate, wooly sketch of 'religion' as not an orthodoxy, but rather the set of things you're faithful to.

Noted on July 24, 2016

What if, like Tolstoy's Ivan Ilyich, our lifelong commitment to discerning and performing what's considered to be socially acceptable is precisely where we're stalled in our development, never seriously asking the essential question of whether what's expected of us in our day-to-day existences is what's right? What if that which is celebrated, championed and praised in our particular milieu is, as it turns out, an all-pervading social darkness we've come to accept and look to as light? Perhaps we're interested in finding out. Maybe we've met some people who appear to be interested in such questions. Maybe we could make a community out of it. Maybe it's already there, waiting for us.

Quoted on July 24, 2016

A religious background, whatever form it takes, is a mixed bag. My grandmother's often domineering determination never to speak or allow an idle word had at least a root or two in those ancient communal efforts toward wholeness and healing we call sacred traditions. Let your 'yes' mean yes and your 'no' mean no, and anything extra - a vow for instance - is likely manipulative filler or perhaps a toxic denial of your own finitude, a claim to know more than you can personally guarantee. Perhaps this is a tradition worthy of maintaining: say what you mean.

Quoted on July 24, 2016

As someone who has dared to try to teach people for most of my adult life, I often suspect that what I'm up to is, in large part, an effort to try to stop people from becoming bored and giving up too soon, to help them find their own lives and the lives of others powerfully interesting, weird and somehow beautiful.

Quoted on July 24, 2016

You never hear people put it this way, and I don’t intend to start a trend, but when we consider the ever-evolving process of a person’s thinking, the way a person imagines and organizes the world, it could almost seem appropriate to ask each other from time to time, How’s your religion coming along? How’s it going? Born again, or the same old, same old? Did you successfully distinguish darkness from light in the course of your day? Is there a fever in your mind that won’t go away? Mind if I prescribe a poem?

Quoted on July 24, 2016

I'm not religious signals firmly that I'm not falling for that backward madness anymore, and I won't be made to sit quietly when someone starts singing that sad, confusing song.

Quoted on July 24, 2016

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
Interested in talking about it?
Get in touch. You might also want to check out my other projects or say hello on twitter.