Posted by: aboutalbion | August 24, 2012

DIY religion (5)

The fifth topic in Colin Morris’ list is creativity, which he uses in the sense of a ‘problem-solving mentality’.  And the question for my case is: “Has a nation state (such as the UK) the creativity normally associated with traditional religious organisations?”

Under this heading, Morris discusses the idea that religion engages with the whole human personality.  “Religion is a way of life which unites the intellectual and emotional sides of our nature.  …  Religion is the response of our whole personality to the whole of life.  Through it we grasp what the world is about.” (p59)

Morris argues that a religion needs a ‘problem-solving mentality’ because the integrity of a religion will be tested by ‘the gales of life’.  He has in mind events such as the (first) Christian Council of Nicea in 325 CE which sought to resolve decades of theological argument.

As I see it, the integrity of a nation state is also tested by ‘the gales of life’.  For the UK, a significant time of acute testing occurred towards the end of the seventeenth century.  The ‘problem-solving mentality’ of those with power engineered what came to be known as the ‘Revolution of 1688’, or the ‘Bloodless Revolution’, or the ‘Glorious Revolution’, or the ‘War of the English Succession’.  This creative ‘solution’ curtailed the idea of ‘the divine right of Kings’ and advanced the idea of the ‘Supremacy of Parliament’, and this creative ‘solution’ has been accepted and developed by UK citizens to the present day.  ‘The law is King’ is the basis of the ‘rule of law’ in the UK.

So, in short, I find that a nation state (such as the UK) has in principle the creative problem solving capacity to be a religion.

[Morris, Colin (1992) Start Your Own Religion.  London: BBC Books.]


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