“To convert [to a religion] is to announce your allegiance to a new tribe, or a new idea of humanity.”
I’ve had this quote sitting around in my ‘drafts’ for a long time. Andrew Brown is a writer for the Guardian and editor of the Guardian website’s ‘Comment is Free’ Belief section. He’s not a Christian (or a member of any other religion), but he does seem to have a really good understanding of what faith is all about.
I like his last five words – ‘a new idea of humanity’. Every belief system (and I include philosophies and atheism in that term) has an idea of humanity. It has a story about where we came from, what the problem of humanity is, what the solution is, and where we’re going.
Aligning yourself with a religion or a philosophy – particularly when done deliberately or self-consciously – means living differently in the light of what you believe about those (and possibly some other) core questions.
Even if your answer is ‘I don’t know, and I don’t think it really matters’, that belief will shape how you run your life, how you relate to others and what you value.
What do you think?
What’s your understanding of who we are,
what’s wrong, how we can fix it and where we’re heading?
And how is that shaping how you live?