Reading Excerpts

Conviction and Dogmatism

Conviction and dogmatism are not the same. There is a difference between having seen some truth and claiming to speak in the name of all truth; between knowing what one believes and refusing to respect the beliefs and experiences of others. People of faith should speak with a humble authority combining real knowledge with an awareness of the limitations of that knowledge. Their authority, to coin a powerful image used by John Habgood a generation ago, is not that of the wise woman or man and the scholar, important though wisdom and scholarship are, but that of lovers who express their delight in what they love, even though they have scarcely begun to glimpse its full extent.

Rupert Shortt, Does Religion Do More Harm Than Good? (London, SPCK, 2019), pp. 75-76. ISBN: 978-0-281-07871-4.