Philosophical Approach to Religion

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    THE sixteenth Unity School was held at Jordans Hostel in Bucks on May 12-15. The general subject was “The Philosophical Approach to Religion”, and an address introducing the subject was given by Mr. F. S. Marvin on the evening of May 12, when he reaffirmed his belief in positivism, possibly modified in certain aspects to relate it to certain more recent ideas. In the discussion, Lord Samuel put forward a view involving in one aspect the idea of causality leading to a creator God. On May 13, Dr. Helen Wodehouse, Mistress of Girton, in an address characterized by beauty of expression, introduced the question of what is the philosophical approach to religion. The discussion was opened by Prof. J. H. Muirhead, and the Rev. J. H. Brittain contributed some remarks on the historical element hi current religion. Prof. John MacMurray gave a stimulating discourse in opening a session on “Religion as the Basis of Reality” and sought to find the essence of religion in personal relationship. He also made some comments on the differences between the scientific and the religious attitudes; discussion of this subject was continued on May 14, when Dr. C. H. Desch spoke on the effect of the development of science on religion. In a concluding address on the future prospects of religion, Prof. Harvey considered a number of factors that have to be taken into account, and put forward some tentative conclusions. Though the discussions sometimes seemed to show difference rather than unity of opinion, at the last meeting it was felt that there was common agreement in rejecting the objects of devotion put forward by the military States and in seeking to unite men to serve some worthier purpose, which has been known by various names. Valuable interludes were provided by Dr. R. N. Salaman, who spoke on the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, and by Mrs. Beer, who described a recent visit to Germany and Austria. Further information on the Unity Schools can be obtained from Mr. F. S. Marvin, Pantiles, Coneydale, Welwyn Garden City, Herts.

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    Philosophical Approach to Religion. Nature 143, 970–971 (1939) doi:10.1038/143970d0

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