What is the place of the religious in the world?

Leonardo Boff

As worldly and apparently materialistic as society has become, we cannot deny that recently there has been a strong turn towards the religious, towards mysticism and the esoteric.  It seems that excessive rationalization and the functioning of our complex societies is becoming tiresome. The return to the religious just shows that the human being seeks something greater. There is an invisible side to the visible that we would like to uncover. Perhaps therein lies a secret meaning that fulfills our tireless search for something that we cannot identify. In that non-confessional horizon perhaps it makes sense to talk of the religious or the spiritual. It has endured all forms of attack but managed to survive. The early moderns saw it as something pre-modern, a fantastic knowledge that had to give way to positive and critical knowledge (Auguste Comte). Then it was read as a disease: an opiate, alienation and false…

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