Thursday, May 24, 2012

John N. Gray comparing Christianity and secular humanism (again)


In his recent conversation with Rowan Williams, the Emeritus Professor of European Thought of London School of Economics and Political Science John Gray reiterated his stand as a non-Christian that Christianity is more compelling than secular humanism:
I'm a skeptic, and in some sense, even a rationalist. But precisely because of that, I find the Christian narrative of the resurrection more compelling than the prevailing secular humanist narrative of humanity slowly ascending to a higher civilization. And the reason for that is that within the Christian narrative there is an explicit acknowledgement of the element of the miraculous. Whereas in the secular humanist narrative, the idea is that human will become more rational, that is they decide whether in that understanding of rationality that will really be desirable. But they become more rational in the sense that slowly to a higher order of civilization. Using that very kind of reason, I think you should quite quickly concluded that that is not going to happen. So in the sense of a hope, it seems to me that the hope embodied in the story, such as this story of the resurrection, a more profound hope than a thin secular idealism which is embodied in the notion of progress.
(Cathedral Conversations - Archbishop Rowan and John Gray on Belief and Belonging, http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/2493/cathedral-conversations-archbishop-rowan-and-john-gray-on-belief-and-belonging, 6 April 2012.)

2 comments:

Martin Yee said...

Interesting note by a pagan. No wonder Christianity can last for such a long time and conquer many hearts.

Sometimes such thoughts help us to reflect on why am I a Christian? God's work or man's decision.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Martin,

Yes, Gray is interesting thinker. I did an essay examining Gray's eschatology even though he said that he was not a Christian.