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Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 08:13:25 -0700 (PDT)
From: Craig Brewer 
Subject: Re: (urth) Crowley, then ...

Not to get too far off of Crowley, but...

Josh Geller  pontificated:

> All religion is private religion. If you are a
> member of a particular sect, all that means is that
> you get together with other people whose religion 
> incorporates some of the same stuff as yours.

I'm not sure it's quite so categorical as that. By
"private" I would assume that Crowley meant highly
idiosyncratic and a kind of belief that really wasn't
open to someone's "choosing" -- just as Smoky can
never really "choose" to believe (although the people
who settled in the area a few generations before Smoky
could be said to have "converted"). But I don't think
it makes sense to call all religion "private,"
especially since institutionalized religion enters the
"public sphere" in a way that my own quirky beliefs
don't. Maybe it's more a matter of degree, but to call
all religion "private" blurs an important distinction
between a public, "official" and even political use of
religion that, for example, private Theosophists might
not quite be capable of experiencing.

Besides, Severian's New Sun was going to redeem an
entire world, not just himself.

> You know, there are really a lot of people, when you
> add them all together, to whom fairies actually are
> part of their religion.

I certainly hope so, but who are you thinking of in particular?

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