Is a sense of community inextricably tied to faith?

In the Wall Street Journal’s Saturday Essay Alain de Botton explores the idea that the decline in community and religion are intertwined and asks whether secular society regain the “sense of community” without adopting some of the theological principles intertwined with it.

“My premise is that even those who aren’t religious can find religion sporadically useful, interesting and consoling and should consider how we might import certain religious ideas and practices into the secular realm.

“Religion serves two central needs that secular society has not been able to meet with any particular skill: first, the need to live together in harmonious communities, despite our deeply-rooted selfish and violent impulses; second, the need to cope with the pain that arises from professional failure, troubled relationships, the death of loved ones and our own decay and demise,” de Botton posits.

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