A question of faith

July 16, 1999

The low intellectual level of the trendy movement called radical orthodoxy is evinced in the quoted statement of Graham Ward, one of its leaders, that the "positivist view of materiality" held by science "is reductive".

If science were inherently materialist, the mind-body problem would not be a scientific question. The opposite of materialism is not supernaturalism, so that the rejection of materialism in no way entails the belief in miracles.

What characterises the modern, academic approach to religion is its attempt to account for religion.

By contrast, radical orthodoxy simply takes the existence of religion for granted and then, lo and behold, manages to see the world in religious terms. No miracle that.

Robert Segal, Professor of theories of religion, Lancaster University

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