Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sol, Sun, and Son

Religion, science, and the solstice
This a fine editorial about Yule by James Carroll of the Boston Globe, I first saw over at DailyKos:

...Religion and science occupy separate and opposed spheres, no? Not to our distant forebears, from whom all of our illumination festivals derive. They could not afford the facile dichotomy between the sacred and the profane that defines thinking since the Enlightenment, when people of the West sought to free themselves from the bane of superstition. For most of history, though, religion was not taken to be a flight from rationality, but a mode of it...

Is it me, or have there been less articles this season about the phony 'War on Christmas', and more like the one above? I hope so. Carroll wishes for a peaceful resolution between two parties that are often at odds in our society:

When mystical wonder was walled off from measurable observation, science restricted its range, and religion anathematized critical thinking - disasters both. But the festivals this week, sparked by this morning’s dawn, call to mind the age-old spaciousness of informed imagination. Happily, it remains so. Knowledge is holy. Season’s greetings.

Happy Yule, everyone.