By Ian Crowe
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Extra resources for An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the Life and Thought of Edmund Burke
18. 10]. 26 ` F. P. LOCK the institutional elements of religion. This advantage, however, comes with corresponding drawbacks, which qualify their evidential value. These texts are inevitably rhetorical, tailored to fit a particular audience or occasion, and they are concerned with such issues as happened to occasion debates to which Burke contributed. They were not his chosen subjects. Because they are mainly about the institutional aspects of religion, we should not therefore conclude that Burke thought them the most important.
A confidence in his declarations; and an imitation of his perfections. ”5 True religion, so understood, can be found in many different forms and faiths. Burke himself took a keen amateur interest in theology, but he did not believe that ordinary individuals needed to, or should, examine the tenets of the faith in which they had been educated. For most people, religion was something to be taken on trust. Burke’s description of “true religion” is one to which many deists could have subscribed. Yet Burke was certainly no deist, believing firmly in revelation.
Burke and Religion ` 27 with which Burke typically invests what is nearest and dearest to him. Yet the reserved language is appropriate in a letter to a stranger, which Burke knew might become public property. Further, Burke grew up in the Church of Ireland, an anomalous institution not, as he is likely to have experienced it, calculated to inspire love and affection. Transplanted to England in 1750, he could hardly feel the deep emotional identification with the Church of England of one who had belonged to it since birth.