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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt

Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt

Sometimes you read a book and know it will make a deep and lasting impact on you. This will be one of them.

We all wrestle with trying to understand why we are here and whether or not there is purpose and meaning in our lives. Some are able to accept a religious faith and find it satisfies a spiritual quest for meaning, whereas others never rest easy in that bed, like me.

Richard Holloway's book walks us through his many years in high church office (finally as Bishop of Edinburgh and Primate of the Scottish Episcopal Church) to an eventual resting place where religion is cast aside and an honest acceptance of man's plight reached, although he remains agnostic about God and life after death. Here we see a deeply religious man even when religion is cast aside. There IS depth in humanity and an enduring mystery, but religion is not the answer.

I was moved to tears in the epilogue: this was his life laid bare, a struggle shared with us in the book, and all the more wonderful for it.

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