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the Complete Review
the complete review - religion



Experience and Religion

by
Nicholas Mosley


general information | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Experience and Religion



Title: Experience and Religion
Author: Nicholas Mosley
Genre: Non-fiction
Written: 1965
Length: 156 pages
Availability: Experience and Religion - US
Experience and Religion - UK
Experience and Religion - Canada
  • A Lay Essay in Theology

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Our Assessment:

B : appealing enough, quite well presented

See our review for fuller assessment.




The complete review's Review:

       Experience and Religion seems a sort of attempt at a personal world-view, Mosley looking around him and considering his own experience as well as what he sees to try to make sense of it all and formulate a personal take on it. It's from a specific period -- first published in 1965, when Mosley was in his early forties -- and that's reflected in some of what he writes: changing sexual mores, fear of the (atomic) Bomb, and, on a more personal note, a focus on marriage and children. Nevertheless, it doesn't feel very dated: Mosley's generalities have relevance even today.
       Experience and Religion is also not too focussed on the theological. (It is a Christian book, with little concern for other religions.) Mosley's main focus is to show that there's still something of value both socially and personally in some of what religion offers. His approach, however, is not to impose or justify religious tenets or traditions, but rather argue from what we have and want in society as well as our personal lives, and then suggest the religious connexions.
       Mosley notes a shifting role for (organised) religion and god-belief -- another feature of the 60s, though one that is also ongoing (and differently in the US than in the UK). He doesn't seem that concerned with it: in 60s fashion he seems, to some extent, to be suggesting to each his own -- and merely showing what he's found and thinks.
       Of particular concern and interest is a specific loss of religious language:

one of the achievements of modern philosophy is to have destroyed the case for a logical language of religion (whatever this might have meant); and it is logical language that has done this. But with the withdrawal of people with artistic talent into solitariness and darkness there has been the death of the proper sort of religious language too -- just as perhaps there is a limitation in these kinds of works of art. Art was once to do with significance, meaning, connections; so was religion; now, seldom either.
       It is this that Mosley thinks religion is still necessary for -- a sense (or the possibility) of community, for example. The art-religion nexus is significant -- as is the fact that Mosley is a 'creative' writer. Repeatedly he talks not only about a loss of a specific type of language, but also of stories and the possibility of telling them (or making them comprehensible), or even just simple communication: "We only don't know how to talk about it" is a wall he runs against several times (and the "only" suggests that that is where the hurdle lies ...). Unlike many writers, who revel in the introspective approach, Mosley wants to look outward, wants again to embrace community and shed light.
       Experience and Religion covers quite a bit, from the concept of freedom through marriage (which he says both makes us free and binds us) and children to politics. It's an interesting, somewhat loose meditation, more revealing about the writer himself (and both his life and philosophy) than theologically illuminating but certainly also of some interest to those who concern themselves with these questions.

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Links:

Experience and Religion: Other books by Nicholas Mosley under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       British author Nicholas Mosley was born in 1923.

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