Saturday, September 03, 2016

T. S. Eliot on Religious Liberalism

Image:  T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

In March 1939, on the eve of the outbreak of the Second World War, T. S. Eliot gave three lectures at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, later published as the essay “The Idea of a Christian Society.”

In the opening chapter of the essay, Eliot offers this description of religious liberalism:

In religion, Liberalism may be characterized as a progressive discarding of elements in historical Christianity which appear superfluous or obsolete, confounded with practices and abuses which are legitimate objects of attack.  But as its movement is controlled rather by its origin than by any goal, it loses force after a series of rejections, and with nothing to destroy is left with nothing to uphold and nowhere to go.


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