Re: Tit for Tat?

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Thu Sep 11 2003 - 12:00:41 EDT

  • Next message: Jay Willingham: "Re: Tit for Tat?"

    As you note at the end, IIRC, Dawkins has made a
    statement of being in favor of studying religious
    literature qua literature, religion qua anthropology,
    etc. I don't think he went as far as approving of
    comparative religion, qua religion, but I am not an
    exhaustive reader of Dawkins' stuff.

    Dawkins has, however, made it quite clear that (he
    believes -- although I don't think he is quite as
    humble about caveating his belief) theology is not and
    should not be an academic discipline, in addition to
    taking great personal joy (Schadenfreude?), inter
    alia, at the closing of a Catholic seminary in
    Ireland, which he made part of one of his Guardian
    pieces. So, I suspect that if he "approves" of
    comparative religion it would be in purely an
    anthropological, literary, or similar context.

    Of course, his comments must be understood in context
    of the state of affairs in the UK where theology can
    be and is taught at "state" universities. As far as I
    am aware, no state university (for good reason) in the
    US offers theology.

    --- Sarah Berel-Harrop <> wrote:
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Ted Davis" <>
    > To: <>; <>
    > Cc: <>
    > Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2003 9:38 AM
    > Subject: Re: Tit for Tat?
    > > Is is spiritually dangerous to teach YEC or TE, or
    > some other position on
    > > origins?
    > >
    > > This is a very important question. Daniel Dennett
    > and Richard Dawkins
    > > believe that it is *politically* dangerous to
    > teach anything even smelling
    > > like traditional religion, on any issue whatever;
    > they have made
    > > inflammatory, intolerant statements about this
    > that are well known.
    > I am fairly sure Dawkins has written in favor of
    > teaching
    > comparative religion, this is routinely done in the
    > UK. I
    > can try to dig up the reference if you like. I
    > think the
    > context was that this is the appropriate place to
    > teach
    > religious origins concepts, but I possibly
    > misremember.
    > Although, note, when you teach comparative religion,
    > you are simply teaching this is what religion A,B,C
    > states about issue X,Y,Z; and in that vein, it isn't
    > actually a traditional religious teaching on any
    > given
    > issue, so your statement would still be basically
    > correct.

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