The New Atheism is 'Bolshevism for the Home Counties', about his review of Peter Hitchens The Rage against God. Hitchens' Damascus moment in his conversion was seeing Rogier van der Weyden’s Last Judgment.
My wedding sermon has become somewhat fixed lately, at least in its core (we have had quite a few this year, one or two most weeks) it is basically that the view of humanity offered by Hitchen's brother, Christopher and Richard Dawkins is essentially one of unredeemed man, red in tooth and claw, left to his own selfishness. Their vision seems to really to be man steeped in original sin, unable to transcend himself, unable to escape himself. Love, self-giving and sacrifice are not transcendent but merely chemical or biological impulses. In contrast Christians see Love as the basis of the cosmos, this Love for want of a better word we name "God", and we glimpse it the couple being married. Christians ultimately see this Love in the self-giving sacrifice of Christ.
Such notions of Love can only be intuited, it cannot be measured, we know what it is when we see. In this sense it is the same as Beauty, encountering it enables us to transcend ourselves. In order speak about it we need myth, mystery and metaphor, artifice and art, imagination and intuition. It is better expressed through music and poetry.
I wonder whether the very beauty of Weyden's painted communicated as much as the metaphorical narrative, could Ms Emin have done as much? I presume not.
I find Ed's reference to 'Bolshevism for the Home Counties' intriguing, Bolshevism might indeed be dead as a political movement but it finds expression contemporary - home counties - anthropolgy, man is simply what you see. It is only with the Divine he transcend himself.