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Howard Davidson

Throughout most of my life I have entered Churches. Sometimes just to sit quietly by myself and think whatever thoughts come to me. I also have an interest in church architecture and some religious art. Stained glass windows can be interesting. I still retain a scholarly interest in Christianity and I try to read its history, the scriptures and the writings of Christian philosophers. I can’t say much about “belief” or “faith”. But I am interested in the psychology and sociology of Christianity, or any religion. I think a lot about the mindset of believers. I watch and notice the way they behave. I am only a Christian in a cultural sense, that is, Christianity has been the main spiritual tradition in the West for two thousand years and it pervades much of our thinking and behaviour whether we know it or not.

Howard Davidson

Athens and Jerusalem. Matthew Arnold wrote about Jew/Greek. And there are certain similarities between what Greek philosophers wrote and what the prophets of the Old Testament (?) said. But the real link between Greek philosophy and Christianity is St. Augustine. Augustine had absorbed Plato’s theory of the ideas, through Plotinus, and reworked Plato’s Ideas into the world, or universe, as the ideas of God. I once had a not-very-friendly dispute with a Jewish man (who knew a lot about Judaism). I didn’t like it when he said that Christianity was “made up”. I could have replied, but didn’t, that all religions are made up. He said, in a disparaging tone, that Christianity was “very Platonic”. He was right of course. Augustine’s reworking of Plato set the direction of Christian philosophy for the next thousand years.

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