What We Believe
For our Christmas issue, representatives of three faiths - Mohammed Ansar, Rabbi Laura Janner Klausner and Giles Fraser - discussed the idea of “non-overlapping magisteria” – that science and religion ask different questions and can coexist peacefully. Introduced by our guest editor Robin Ince:
I have been called “a militant atheist” in the past, which seems to mean no more than I am happy to say I’m an atheist if asked. The militant comes with it as a package whether you want it or not. After being involved in the odd debate show and occasional fracas on radio, I increasingly felt that “religious people are at loggerheads with the atheists” – one burning down cathedrals and urinating in fonts, the other thinking that man was made from clay a few years back –was not very representative of the reality I experienced.
Just as atheists get stereotyped as furious suckers of joy wishing everyone to dwell in a valley of existential angst, so the religious can be imagined by some of the godless as nonthinking halfwits, petrified into action only through fear of their deity. Increasingly, I find the common ground is not as clearly delineated as we might think – so I asked representatives of the three Abrahamic faiths where they felt the boundaries between science and religion lay.
Read the article in full on the NS website.