Tagged with stephen prothero

Beautiful sentences

 

As Rumi once explained, intelligence comes in two forms. There is the secondhand intelligence of a child’s memorizing facts delivered through books and teachers—the sort of intelligence that will get you a job as a civil engineer or help you distinguish between the Five Pillars of Islam and the seven sacraments of Roman Catholicism. Wordsworth called this “our meddling intellect.” But there is another kind of intelligence, a “second knowing,” which springs from direct, personal experience of God—“a fountainhead / from within you, moving out.” This kind of knowing lies beyond the limits of everyday language and ordinary thought. So Sufis attempt to express it in other ways—in music and dance and in the elliptical language of mystical poetry, whose very words urge the reader to look beyond them to The Beyond.
Stephen Prothero, God is not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World.

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Beautiful sentences

Every year I tell my BU undergraduates that there are two worthy pursuits for college students. One is preprofessional—preparing for a career that will put food on the table and a roof overhead. The other is more personal—finding big questions worth asking, which is to say questions that cannot be answered in a semester, or even a lifetime (or more). How do things come into being? How do they cease to be? How does change happen? How does anything stay the same? What is the self? Who (or what) is God? What happens when we die? As predictably as fall follows summer, incoming college students bring into classroom big questions of this sort. Just as predictably, many professors try to steer them toward smaller things—questions that can be covered in an hour-long lecture, and asked and answered on a final exam. But the students have it right. At least in this case, bigger is better.
Stephen Prothero, God is not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World.
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Beauiful sentences

I found the notion of a religion designed to humble the proud thrilling. I also loved the Quran’s habit of the question—“Do you not understand?” (2:44); “Have you not seen?” (31:20)—despite the fact, because of the fact, that these questions were rarely answered.
Stephen Prothero, God is not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World.
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