Does your religion bring about flourishing?

I've just read an interesting book review in the Church Times. It's of Good and Bad Religion by Peter Vardy.* He is Vice Principal of Heythrop College, London, and lectures in Philosophy of Religion.

Under the headline “MOT for religions” Ronan Head in his review of the book summarises its point that we should judge the goodness of religion against Aristotle's notion of human flourishing and the virtues that characterise this alignment.

So good religions that promote flourishing also promote justice, freedom, and equality. To be responsible for their actions, humans must be free to choose them.

Bad religions are characterised by: forms of authority that stifle independent thought and promote unquestioning obedience; fundamentalist readings of their holy texts; and fear of science and technology.

Seems wise to me!

* SCM Press 2011 £12.99 978-0-334-04349-2

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