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Written by Mason Tabor
"Faith is universal. Our specific methos for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves."
This quote represents a philosophy reminiscent of Kierkegaard and the Post-modernists, in that it portrays religion as a universal human experience with various expressions. It also offers a markedly weak position on truth. Truth is not offered here as being objective, but rather, truth is the word we use for a belief that is big enough for us to subscribe to it with our subjective opinions.
The presence of themes like this make Brown's work effective as skeptical mystery, but have inadvertently isolated conservative Christian readers who dislike the way religion is portrayed in Angels & Demons.
"And yet remarkable solutions to seemingly impossible problems often occcur in these moments of clarity. It's what gurus call higher consciousness. Biologists call it altered states. Psychologists call it super-sentience. And Christians call it answered prayer. Sometimes, divine revelation simply means adjusting your brain to hear what your heart already knows."
Offered as the analysis of a scientific man, this quote lends credence in the book to the idea that religious clarity and super-insight are essential natural. This poses truth as reachable. It humanizes religious experience in a way that promises narrative clarity in the book and conceptual clarity for the reader who is barraged by many subversive religious ideas.
"We all benefit from a sense of contact with divinity... even if it is only imagined."
This is an interesting comment coming from a man in his position in the Catholic church, and since it is the Camerlengo who offers this thought, it is particularly effective in the narrative, especially since Langdon is admittedly agnostic.
This view of religion suggests that Ventresca has doubts about the objective truth about his beliefs, but he argues that regardless of its truth or falsity, religion is a useful tool to the human experience, even if it is delusional.
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