Review by Jonathan Wooding
The difference between a religious and a non-religious person is not a question of what one believes, where one belongs, or how well one behaves, but whether one prays. Here’s Iris Murdoch talking about Immanuel Kant: ‘Surely, prayer (or something like it) is as essential as duty; and is indeed a vital mediating concept, enabling the liberating discovery of the divine in one’s own soul’. The characters in Murdoch’s novels are fascinated by these ideas, and Murdoch, it seems, remained fascinated by prayer. In this scientific age, ‘we may be in danger of losing too much while asserting too little. The loss of the Book of Common Prayer… is symptomatic of this failure of nerve.’
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