Saturday, 27 August 2011

Camille Paglia on Q TV

-Why are you an atheist who believes in religious education?

-Well I was a rebel against the highly puritanical and moralistic American Catholic church of the 1950's and found it unbelievably constraining and oppressive. I identified strongly though with the Italian Catholicism of my youth that wasn't so full of moral prescriptions but that was heavily image laden and spiritual; Cult of the saints, the iconography, heavy stained glass windows of my baptismal church in New York, and I just feel that the religious perspective is our best chance to see the universe whole. I think it's more adequate than philosophy or even science. On the other hand I don't believe in the transcendent god; I do worship nature, I feel that the legacy going from high romanticism into the hippy 1960's of my college years actually is ultimately humanistic and needs to be recovered. The 1960's generation wasn't just about politics, it was also about exploring Hinduism and Buddhism and alternate forms of understanding the mysteries of the universe. So yes, for 20 years I have been calling for comparative religion to be at the centre of education. A core curriculum for the world that we can understand anything in the world about another culture until we know the religious background and their assumptions even among non-believers of the present time.

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