Spiritual England

Religion

“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.”

Richard Dawkins

“Sadly the word ‘religion’ has so many negative connotations that it has now lost its original meaning. It has become a man-made concept that, however well intentioned, can be manipulated by unscrupulous people to exercise control over others. By contrast ‘spirituality’ is personal and outside the control of others. It is our inner voice, our consciousness, our soul, our true identity. It forms the basis of our connection with the earth and all its inhabitants and it is our spirituality that recognises the good in everything and encourages us to strive to become the best we can be.”

Carole McEntee-Taylor
Policy Director, the Spiritual Workers Association

“Religion encompasses aspects of spirituality, usually in the context of belief in a transcendent being or beings. Religious faiths can provie a 'world view', which is acted out in narrative, creeds, symbols, rites, rituals, sacraments and gatherings and the promotion of ties of mutal obligation. It creates a framework within which people seek to understand and interpret and make sense of themselves, their lives and daily experiences.”

Peter Gilbert
Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Spirituality , Staffordshire University

“The tears of faithfulness to your beliefs cleanse your spirit to envision the road ahead. Everything is possible for the person who believes.”

Adlin Sinclair

“Religion is for people who are scared to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there.”

Bonnie Raitt

“When religion closes people up in their own particular group, it puts belonging to the group, and its success and growth, above love and vulnerability towards others; it no longer nourished and opens the heart. When this happens, religion becomes an ideology, that is to say, a series of ideas that we impose on ourselves, as well as on others; it closes us up behind walls. When religion helps us to open our hearts in love and compassion to those who are not of our faith so as to help them find a source of freedom within their own hearts and to grow in compassion and love of others, then this religion is a source of life.”

Jean Vanier
In his book Becoming Human

“Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; anything but live for it.”

Charles Caleb Colton

“One religion is as true as another.”

Robert Burton

“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”

Jonathan Swift

“God has no religion.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“Alone… the world is life endured and known. It is the stillness where our spirits walk. And all but inmost faith is overthrow.”

Siegfried Sassoon

“Faith is the force of life.”

Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

“Religion is the opium of the people.”

Karl Marx

“Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.”

Isaac Bashevis Singer

“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”

Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“I'm always surprised when people say that they think that religion and spirituality are completely separate things. I think it’s important to remember that it was someone's spiritual experience that was at the start/source of the creation of all religions! It's probably the adherance to doctrine and institutionalised practices and rituals, as well as the religious conflicts throughout the centuries and in the present time, that have turned so many people away from religions. But at the heart of most religions there are beautiful teachings and spiritual practices which have so much to offer us.”

Anna Lubelska
Director of Spiritual England