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Raphael, St. Paul Preaching in Athens, 1515.

Ironic witness

Embodying faith in a postmodern age

John is a self-described atheist Roman Catholic. He earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at an Ivy League university and is a philosophy professor at a small college. We met several years ago at a research center, and I noticed a deep spiritual hunger in him. John was fascinated by my faith and confided in me that although he felt he no longer had faith, he nevertheless experienced this as a profound loss. John confessed that he desperately wished he could believe in God again and had even spent time in two different monasteries hoping to reignite his faith or find some deeper spiritual reality in which he could believe.

 

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