Khaled Diab: Contemplating God-free zones
A typical assumption the religious make is that the absence of God deprives life of essence and meaning – that the cold eye of reason is arrogant and robs life of its soul and mystique. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has colourfully described this as “spiritual homelessness”. He opined that: “Many people have a sense of being in a sort of exile from faith-guided experience.”
This sense of alienation cuts across theological lines. “It’s difficult to have a spiritual life in a modern society,” believes Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born reformist Islamic scholar.
As a non-believer, I do not feel like a spiritual refugee slumming it out in some frontier camp for exiled souls. You do not need God or religion to experience the sublime and poetic.