Boredom and the Religious Imagination

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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These reflections are grounded in the suspicion that many people in our modern western culture who would identify themselves as “religious” are nonetheless bored with their religion; i.e., they experience private prayer and public worship as boring activities; for them questions about God’s existence and relationship to the world are relatively uninteresting; in general, their religious lives lack any real intellectual or emotional intensity. This suspicion needs to be tested, its validity ascertained, but here it will function as an undemonstrative assumption. Furthermore, while it is possible to challenge the authenticity of the religious label that such people apply to themselves, here I will assume that this application is not necessarily meaningless.