Losing My Religion: REM and Rawls #rawlsreligion

Losing My Religion: REM and Rawls #rawlsreligion February 27, 2013

Right now, I am writing about John Rawls and his loss of orthodox Christian faith during World War II. Rawls provides a very personal and touching narrative of some of the events that led to his loss of orthodox faith in essay “On My Religion” (2010).

I emphasize his loss of orthodox Christian faith because in many ways Rawls does not reject faith, but instead he turns away from the theological tenants of Christianity. I will be looking at this in a 3 or 4 posts over the next couple of days.

Tonight, I want to share with you the song that came to my mind tonight as I pondered Rawls and his story.


REM’s “Losing My Religion” is not about losing religious faith. Michael Stipe explained “Losing My Relgion” is about “someone who pines for someone else. It’s unrequited love, what have you.”

I think that this is a sentiment that we can apply to faith. I have argued elsewhere that faith is more about a relationship with Christ than is about belief. In some sense,  part of faith is a longing for deity.

I think it is more accurate to say that Rawls loses religion rather than saying that he loses faith. I do not think he abandoned faith as much as he abandoned the reasons for the faith he had earlier held.

More to come.


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