I can't speak for other religions except my own, and sadly it does appear that in modern times many are nominally ''Christian'' but have no real commitment to the Faith or living it out in a meaningful way. I believe that it is because the essentially mechanistic and legalistic business-type relationship they have with God as the Bourgeoisie have with their fellow man in general; ''do right by me and bless me in all my undertakings, forgive my sins, and i'll give your clergy and temples money and provide a good moral image of piety for others to follow.''
A brief impression I’ve taken from Soloviev is that he emphasizes the material or objectification of christian institutions and a way of life such that its not enough to isolate it in heaven and not realize it in some form on earth. I have only had a chance to read to some pages of that Russia and the Universal Church and it does give me greater interest to see how things have fallen. Especially after having read Alisdair MacIntyres After Virtue in describing the tragedy of modernity for ethics. I sense this theme more strongly now where its as if we retain the appearances whilst having lost the substance.
Where ethics of the ancient greeks and that of christianity has a purpose for man where as there is none found in modern ethical theories. Man simply is, he isn’t to realize ones purpose to God or to the a good life. Virtues are no longer a means to an ultimate end.
I’m not actually a believer but i sense something worthwhile in christianity that isn’t reducible to a simply right wing politics with a religious veneer. I had thought humanism was necessarily atheist, as I had seen religion as alienation in the vein of Feuerbach. But Soloviev asserts that to not be true and in this i fond great appeal, that I have to take him very seriously and not dismiss his thought.
“ True spiritual love is not a feeble imitation and anticipation of death, but a triumph over death, not a separation of the immortal form from the mortal, of the eternal from the temporal, but a transfiguration of the mortal into the immortal, the acceptance of the temporal into the eternal. False spirituality is a denial of the flesh; true spirituality is the regeneration of the flesh, its salvation, its resurrection from the dead.”
I’m finding that what offends me is dogmatic stupidity but have failed to see how intelligent and insightful a religious thinkers are. I haven’t been exposed to them, only the stupid and stereotyped images.
There is a natural respect for the reflective and now I'm catching a glimpse that there exist such believers.
I have been culturally illiterate and pretty much untouched by religion but i never went deep into a superficial rejection of religion as i witnessed the ignorance of many atheists.
It is sad for everyone to have a lack of thought among a believer or a nonbeliever. Better that people really do grapple with the tough questions rather than simply assert truth. This i enjoy about soloviev in that his school of thought introduces philosophy to religion such to argue for it and not leave it to mysticism, purely beyond reason. This helps me.