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March/April 2011

Discover more articles from this issue.

The Right Thing

On April 1, 2010, Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski signed HB 3686 into law, overturning an 87-year-old state statute that barred teachers from wearing...

Red Sunday in Washington

    It's not every Sunday that Washington archbishop Donald W. Wuerl can personally thank the U.S. Supreme Court justices and the vice president...

The Medieval Not Quite Reformed

Part Two In a Series

The Fate of the Co-joined Twins

Hence a certain tension between religion and society marks the higher stages of every civilization. Religion begins by offering magical aid to harassed and...

The Rest of the Story

Sunday laws have a long history in America. Originally imported from England during the Colonial era by the Puritans, their observance was strictly...

The Awakening

As the United States entered the 2012 campaign season, the question of religion, and the role of religion in politics and in public life, was as prevalent...

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Published in the March/April 2011 Magazine
by Will Durant

Hence a certain tension between religion and society marks the higher stages of every civilization. Religion begins by offering magical aid to harassed and bewildered men; it culminates by gving to a people that unity of morals and belief which seems so favorable to statemanship and art; it ends by fighting suicidally in the lost cause of the past . . .Conduct deprived of its religious supports, detereorates in epicurean chaos; and life itself, shorn of consoling faith, becomes a burden alike to conscious poverty and to weary wealth. In the end a society and its religion tend to fall together, like body and soul, in a harmonious death.

 

Historian Will Durant in an exposition of the interaction of church and state in societies. From The Story of Civilization, volume 1, page 7.

Author: Will Durant

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