Beyond Belief: From the Menu to the Meal
Sea of Faith Conference (NZ), 7 October 2000
In the year 1910 a great World Missionary Conference was held
at Edinburgh in Scotland, at which much was made of the slogan: "The World for
Christ in this Generation". The delegates were assured, and no doubt believed,
that soon they would successfully evangelise the entire world, and Christianity
would prevail everywhere. In the high summer of the European colonial empires it
seemed as obvious that the Europeans must spread their religion all over the
world as it was that they must build railways everywhere.
Less than a century later, there has been an extraordinary
reversal of fortune. Christianity has typically been the most credal and the
most highly organized of the great religious traditions. It is still the
largest, and it is the tradition that gave birth to the modern world. But today
the "Western culture" that has triumphed everywhere is secular. It is liberal
democratic politics, it is science-based industry, it is human rights and free
trade - but it is not religion any more. The church is relatively weak and
unpopular, and Christian doctrine is widely rejected. It has broken down under
philosophical criticism, under biblical and historical criticism, and through
the general shift of Western culture towards a this-worldly and libertarian view
And what is more, the same factors that have sapped
Christian self-confidence are having very much the same effect upon the other
major traditions. The decline of religion is a world-wide event that has in some
measure affected the lives of most human beings, leaving many or most people
with a sense of moral crisis and personal loss.
How are we to interpret this great event and what can be
done about it? Just at the moment a number of people are posing this question by
asking: Can there be a new reformation of Christianity? If so, what would it
The answer I propose is that it is now too late for a
liberal reformation of the type that proposed to renew the Church by simplifying
and updating the system of Christian doctrine. We have to go much further than
that. We have to think of pushing Christianity on to the next, long-awaited and
final stage of its historical development. That means advancing from the
kind of religion - taught in scriptures, controlled by priests, administered to
us through sacramental rituals, and reaching its final fulfilment only beyond
death - advancing from that very long-term and institutional kind of religion to
the immediate kind of religion in which final fulfilment is found and lived in
the here and now.
In theological terms, this means pushing on from Church to
Kingdom, and from the menu to the actual meal.
Church-religion as we have known it is only a stopgap. It
developed to occupy the period of waiting for the (delayed) arrival of the
Kingdom that Jesus had originally promised. The Church grew into a great and
powerful disciplinary institution and system of symbols. Through its sacraments
it seemed to give a real foretaste of a salvation that it nevertheless
deferred, to the end of the world, or to the far side of death. Church
religion makes much of authority and tradition, and of the guarantees that - it
says - are attached to its promises. But what is behind the painted veil we
never quite learn. It is faith, faith all the way, and never
Today Church-religion, as a symbolic language and as a
long-term disciplinary system is fading fast. It's too late for reform. We
should be pressing on to develop the immediate, belief-less sort of religion
that in the old Christian language was called "the Kingdom of God". At first
people will find it hard to accept that just in a belief-less and
immediately-lived religion they can find now the sort of indestructible
happiness that the older church religion said we couldn't have till after death.
But we must work it out.
Here is a brutally-sharp contrast: ecclesiastical religion
was believed, but kingdom religion is
Ecclesiastical religion was a state of waiting and readying
yourself for a promised better world. It was highly reflective and credal. It
was a matter of "having faith", believing "the Faith", and adhering faithfully
to your Creed. Only God could actually bring in the better world, and the Creed
was a supernatural story about how God had originally created the world and was
presently at work redeeming it. Only the final denouement was still awaited, but
it was very important that one should be vigilant in looking out for it - which
in practice meant preparing for death. For most of the ecclesiastical period it
was supposed that the basic conditions of human life here below could not be
radically changed - as they needed to be - by anything less than the promised
return of Christ.
Religion was oddly pessimistic and passive. You valued
correct belief, belief that God was changing things, so highly because there was
very little that you could do yourself. Matters were largely out of our hands,
as is shown by the striking fact that a "Christian ethics", actively concerned
for the betterment of society in the present age, scarcely developed at all
before about 1770. As it developed it found itself chiefly if not entirely
concerned with certain very specific humanitarian causes, and then in early
Victorian times with the idealization of marriage and the family - with women
and children, and with the worlds of domestic and private life. The
Christianisation of economic and political life, and of foreign relations, has
in more recent times been more talked-about than achieved.
Thus although since the Enlightenment there has been a
gradual turning of Christianity towards this world, progress has been slow and
today it would still be fair to say that the practical side of ecclesiastical
religion consists largely of "observances". Until "in his own good time" God
actually brings in the better world - or takes us to it - religion in the eyes
of most people is going to remain an institution that is respected, a Faith that
is to be believed, and a set of prescribed "duties" that "observant" believers
fulfil. And that is it.
In summary, then, Church-religion is believed and
"observed", but people have seldom thought it possible to live it out in full.
By contrast, Kingdom-religion really is simply a way of living, which is
popularly described as living life to the full, or to its fullest. In Church
religion you very consciously are not
one hundred percent committed to life. No, because half of you is always a
little detached, secretive, keeping your hands clean, thinking of eternity and
preparing for death.
Kingdom-religion is all-out solar, one hundred per cent,
reckless. In its contemporary form it passionately loves what is living and only
transient, just for being transient.
Church religion is ulterior, long-term and thinking ahead, whereas
Kingdom-religion is intensively focussed upon the moment, the here and now, and
is oblivious of everything else. It hasn't time even to think about cosmology. It lives at the end of the world.
Church-religion thinks and waits patiently. Kingdom-religion
burns. It is in a hurry because it understands that we are already in our
last days. There is not much time left.
The contrast is extraordinary, and even more extraordinary
is the co-existence of the two very different religions, side-by-side in the
Sermon on the Mount and also in the wider tradition of Jesus' teaching.
Sometimes Jesus urges his followers not to be anxious about the future but to
live entirely in the present. Yet at other times he says that you should be
prudent and calculating, building your house upon a rock. Sometimes he says that
believers should be solar, making an exhibition of themselves, as conspicuous as
shining lights or hilltop towns. At other times he says that all our religious
duties, traditionally summed up as prayer, fasting and almsgiving, should be
performed secretly. Sometimes Jesus talks Kingdom religion, as when he urges
people not to hesitate nor to be self-concerned, but to plunge straight into
moral action on behalf of others. Again, he talks proto-Catholicism and says
that our first concern should be for our own self-purification. We need to get
the plank out of our own eyes before we can see clearly what's wrong with other
In sum, almost every verse in the Sermon on the Mount
either says "Think!", like Church religion; or "Don't think!", like Kingdom
religion. The command to think tells us to sort out our priorities, worry,
reflect, recollect ourselves, cultivate self-awareness and plan ahead. The
command not to think says that only the Now exists: live by the heart, trust
life, plunge in, don't dither, give it all you've got, put on a good show, live
as the Sun does. The contrast between the two character-types and philosophies
of existence is very great, so why are both outlooks attributed to Jesus - and
why is the contradiction so rarely noticed?
The best answer we can give is that in the circles that
preserved the tradition of Jesus' teaching, people were already debating the
issue between the two lifestyles. The "Kingdom" people were more Quaker-like or
existentialist in outlook. They wanted to continue to live in the Kingdom way
and they "heard" the sayings of Jesus as confirming their point of view.
But the 'Church' party, closer to Paul, were conscious that
the Kingdom had not yet fully come. In the waiting-period it was necessary to
come to some sort of accommodation with the old, violent social order and its
institutions. People of this turn of mind, who urged reflection and calculation,
also "heard" the tradition of Jesus' sayings - but they heard it as confirming
point of view. So it came about that when all the sayings where collected and
written down, they came to include both Kingdom-sayings that said "Go
the whole hog: be conspicuous", and Church-sayings that said "Work
quietly and unobtrusively, like the yeast in the dough".
It is reasonable to suppose that Jesus himself had been an
all-out Kingdom person, with a very intense sense of eschatological urgency. He
was ardent, vehement and disputatious, a man in a hurry. But after his death,
how was his teaching to be preserved? Some people picked up on the "Kingdom"
sayings, and translated his eschatology into "solarity", and other people picked
up on the more churchy sayings and translated his eschatology into "inwardness".
What the world now calls The Sermon on the Mount reflects both points of view,
so that when we read it we are not listening to Jesus, but overhearing a dispute
amongst his followers.
To take the argument further now calls for a brief
digression. The world of human life is tumultuous, excessive, unpredictable and
many-sided. Not even the very greatest of writers, not even Shakespeare, can
quite compass all of human life, and still less can any moral theorist
systematize it satisfactorily. As a result, every moral theory and every body of
moral teaching is likely to be found partial and incomplete. It prompts somebody
to produce a counter-theory or the contrary teaching, by way of protest or
correction. An example of this that everyone has noticed is the way in which in
popular morality over the generations the pendulum swings back and forth between
rigor and laxity, long skirts and short skirts, order and freedom, rule-morality
and welfare morality, long-term and short-term, moralism and liberalism. When
one of any of these pairs is pressed too hard, it is likely to trigger a
reaction on behalf of its counterpart.
And more generally, there is a case for saying that almost
every moral theory and every important body of moral teaching functions as a
corrective. Against what? Look at it in its original context. For example,
Jesus' extreme emphasis upon religious immediacy, the imminent coming of the
Kingdom of God, was expressly directed against an equally-extreme form of
religious mediation, namely the minute regulation of Jewish religious life by
armies of scribes, lawyers, Pharisees, Sadducees, chief priests and the rest of
The dispute has often been repeated. In the Latin West the
decline of the Roman Empire left something of a cultural and management vacuum,
which the Church filled. It took over almost the whole business of managing
life, structuring time and space, teaching society's official world-view,
collecting a wide range of dues and inventing an even wider range of duties. An
army of clerics found ways minutely to organize not just other people's lives,
but even more, their own. If you doubt me, examine a Missal and Breviary and
trace all the prayers that every Roman Catholic priest has been expected to
recite every day. Similarly, the clerks found ways to bureaucratize the
penitential system, prayers for the dead, and the efficacy of the Mass. There
are always hapless souls who want life to be given "meaning", and toiling away
to win days off Purgatory certainly gives people something meaningful to do. But
too much bureaucratization of religion was bound to trigger protest from a whole
line of mystics and would-be reformers. A surfeit of wearisome repetition
eventually makes people quite desperate for religious immediacy. I know.
There is a further twist to this story. Until the
seventeenth century the great bureaucrats were clerics, and especially the canon
lawyers. But in the later seventeenth century we can see the last great
ecclesiastic-bureaucrats - people like J B Colbert, Finance Minister to Louis
XIV - beginning to turn into the pioneers of modern social administration. Great
advances in the efficiency of filing-systems were made in Napoleonic times. But
it has been above all the computer which in very recent years has begun to make
us the most minutely and efficiently supervised people who have ever lived.
Life in the prosperous Western countries is becoming more
closely and carefully structured, managed, regulated and optimized than ever
before. It's becoming suffocating. We should not be surprised that people are
not clamouring to have their lives further regulated, by the relatively-archaic
and inefficient religious systems that have come down to us from the past. On
the contrary, in our time people prefer to engage in an independent religious
quest. They seek religious freedom, personal experience, immediacy and even
ecstasy. Religion is called upon to give us a break from our over-regulated
It is against this background that I argue that a reformed
Christianity must now make the corrective move from discipline to freedom, from
Church to Kingdom, and from organized religion to pure religious immediacy.
But we have no consolation to offer to those who seek to
escape from this world into some "spiritual" or supernatural "realm" or
"dimension". On the contrary, because of the way science, philosophy and modern
culture have developed, the world of our life is now an outside-less continuum.
There is nothing else but all this around us, of which we are integrally part.
There is no distinct religious, or supernatural, or spiritual realm. Talk of
other worlds or dimensions is tosh. That is why our contemporary culture is
rapidly becoming the most "total" and all-inclusive that there has ever been.
Its only weakness is its secret terror of that which it cannot completely
manage, namely the sheer contingency and transience of everything - and it is
precisely that which Kingdom religion embraces most ardently.
Kingdom religion attends to the gentle moment-by-moment
pure given-ness of all existence, the Be-ing of everything. It loves the meeting
of Be-ing and language that makes the world of our experience so extraordinarily
glowing and brightly-lit in consciousness. It follows and it feels the
of everything, recognizing that life is finite. Our love for life and our
determination to make the most of it is tuned up and intensified by our
knowledge that we have only so much of it left.
In a world in which it is easy to become numbed and bored
by the way almost everything in sight has been made so safe and predictable,
Kingdom religion restores freshness and urgency to living. We live
metaphysics, and there is no prospect of our being able either to escape from
the world of life into another parallel "spiritual" world or to find ontological
depth and mystery within life. There is no depth. Nowadays everything is
literally mundane. But we can greatly intensify our feeling for life by
attending to just the features of life that most people don't want to think
about, namely its very contingency, its temporality, and its finitude. Doing
this can prompt us to love life and commit ourselves to it in its very
transience. It is profoundly liberating to say "Yes" to life in its lightness
and contingency, and to give up trying either to combat, or to forget about, the
passing of time.
I think I now love the given-ness and the contingency of
everything more intensely than I used to love God. To love and accept life and
death as a package is something altogether different from the more common state
of clutching at life and being afraid of death. And I think that what I call
Kingdom religion makes the merely human historical Jesus a bigger and more
interesting figure than the old divine Christ. Jesus is the prophet who first
taught people that one could live and love life with a fierce burning
end-of-the-world urgency. He frees us from Church-Christianity's curiously
obsessive concern with cosmology - with describing and fitting us into a certain
picture of the world-order. We don't want cosmology; what we want is
To close this section and round off its thesis, I want to
point out one respect in which Kingdom religion is like, and another respect in
which it is unlike, Buddhism. They are like in that both are logically
independent of their own historical origins. They can be verified in practice
simply by being lived. Church-Christianity made itself vulnerable to historical
refutation by pinning its own truth to certain very extravagant historical
claims - in particular, about the resurrection of Christ. I think it clear by
now that it was a mistake and that it is unnecessary to make your religion
vulnerable in that way. Both Buddhism and Kingdom-Christianity can be and must
be verified in practice, just by being lived.
But here there is a difference. For Buddhism the great
liberating truth is the truth of universal contingency. When we understand
everything's lightness and contingency, we understand that there is no
self-identical or substantial being. There is therefore nothing for "craving" or
"fixation" to attract itself to�and we are free. Thus for Buddhism salvation is
release from 'attachment'.
From the point of view of Kingdom religion Buddhism seems a
little too unattached, cool and celibate. The Buddha is wise and compassionate:
he does not experience suffering. Christ is furiously ardent: he loves and
suffers greatly. Who do we choose to follow? It's up to you.
Without exception, Church-Christians have understood me as
proposing not the reformation of Christianity but the abolition of Christianity.
This is because it its declining years Church-Christianity has become so very
weak and self-centred. It has long forgotten the greater things for the sake of
which it exists, and for the sake of which it should at the right time be ready
to die. Yet it should not have forgotten these things, for they are still
legible by anyone who looks out for them.
A simple example is credal belief. Church-Christianity
attaches the most enormous importance to correct credal belief. It is still
instinctively felt both within the churches and outside them that a person who
seriously impugns major items of belief should be swiftly and unceremoniously
dumped. Yet at the same time it has always been known in the Church that credal
belief is only an imperfect and transitional state of mind. It promises to
transcend itself certainly after we die, and perhaps even in this life. When you
have really worked through it, when your belief has become deep enough - then
you no longer believe! Faith has given way to sight, and mediation to immediacy.
Thus Church-Christianity actually works by progressively conducting us beyond
itself to a greater light on the far side of it.
The point was made with particular clarity in the Lutheran
tradition, where Luther himself had taught that the believer should add a mental
pro me (for me and on my behalf), after each clause of the Creed. Developing
this idea, Kierkegaard speaks of the life of faith as "an appropriation-process"
. All the doctrinal themes are meant gradually to sink in and become
part of one's own being - which gives rise to the paradox that when you have
fully become a Christian, you aren't one any longer. When you have internalized
all the beliefs and have appropriated them into your life and practice, then you
no longer hold them as beliefs, spelled-out and with the brand-names conspicuous. You don't
believe it because you have become
it and no longer need to spell it out.
There is, however, a problem. How can we tell that we have
reached the post-missionary stage? When feminism, for example, as a missionary
movement has fully made its point and when its message is finally assimilated
into everybody's life and practice, then it is no longer necessary -indeed, it
has become inappropriate - to go on being an up-front or salient feminist, and
the trademark jargon can be dropped. Have we reached that stage yet?
It seems that we are betwixt and between, for on the one
hand there are nowadays many women, especially in the West, whose acknowledged
distinction is such that they do not need to be feminists. Their personal
standing would if anything be compromised by an over-salient profession of
feminism on their part. But on the other hand there are also billions of women,
especially in Africa, in Islam, and in South and East Asia, who still suffer
very serious social disadvantage just because of their sex. So in the
contemporary world, feminism and post-feminism overlap: in some places salient
missionary feminism remains the most appropriate posture, but in a few other
places it is more fitting to ease off and be post-feminist. Feminism is after
all meant to lead us beyond itself.
Then what about the case of Christianity? It is curiously
complicated. In the West, Christianity evolved into radical humanism in the
1840s . Since then the mainstream of
Western culture has steadily moved over from "Church" to "Kingdom", with the
full social establishment of liberal democracy, human rights, humanitarian
ethics, environmentalism and modernism in the arts. This is a culture that in
some ways has so fully assimilated Christianity that it no longer needs to be
nominally Christian - which is why it is currently dropping the old passwords
But religious conservatives are highly dissatisfied. They
say that just as the state of Israel is a very unsatisfactory secular
realization of Jewish religious hopes, so our comfortable Western consumerism
and humanitarianism is a very unsatisfactory realization on earth of Christian
eschatology. In reaction, conservative ultras both in Judaism and in
Christianity therefore aggressively reassert the old supernaturalism and the old
brand-names. This is ironic: the Church exists for the sake of the Kingdom, but
when the Kingdom comes, the Church refuses to bow out gracefully, declares
itself very disappointed, and fights back against the Kingdom! That is the very
devil of a situation to sort out. But it's our present condition: several
different ages overlap.
The same difficulty arises in relation to the Church. It
knows perfectly well that it offers and teaches only mediated religion, and that
mediated religion's only excuse for its own existence is that it is preparing us
for the real thing, immediate religion, at some unspecified time in the future -
perhaps at the return of Christ, or perhaps (and more likely) after we die. So
we put up with the present state of discipline and with religious authority, for
the sake of jam tomorrow.
Then at the Reformation some groups thought that the time
for the immediate, post-ecclesiastical Kingdom-type of religion had at last
come. The Quakers, more recently called the Society of Friends, are the most
notable surviving group from that period. They still retain an impressive and
consistently worked-out Kingdom theology, pattern of organization, and ethics.
Through their very great contribution both to liberal democracy and to
humanitarian ethics the Friends have been key figures in the making of the modem
world. Ethically, the modern world is in many ways a Quaker world.
Yet in Britain, where their spirit has been best preserved,
they are now a tiny group, and the vast majority of Christians who remain are
members of large episcopal Churches (Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and a few
others) which are structurally unable ever to make the transition from Church to
Kingdom. The theology of episcopacy sees a diocesan bishop as being in his own
person the Church in his diocese, so that a Council of all the bishops is an
Ecumenical Council of the whole Church. Every bishop feels like the absolute
monarch who said 'L'Etat, c'est moi';
and someone whose whole reason for existence is that he says to himself
'L'�glise, c'est moi' can never allow the Church to pass over into the
Kingdom, because he cannot possibly vote for his own abolition. He is locked-in
to keeping the Church in being by promising jam tomorrow, forever.
Hence the paradox that in our own society the Friends have
been showing since the later eighteenth century that Kingdom-religion is now
possible and does work, whilst at the same time the vast majority of Christians
remain permanently stuck in the age of the Church - the modern Papacy being the
most extreme example of the way mediated, institutional religion has forced
itself up a cul-de-sac from which it cannot deliver itself. Having made an
absolute of itself it cannot transcend itself and therefore cannot actually
function properly as religion. I am
saying that every episcopal church has a built-in and structural bias against
ever allowing itself to pass over into the Kingdom-type of religion - for the
sake of which it (notionally) exists! How did this paradoxical situation arise?
To answer this question we have to look at the period of
the later Roman Empire during which the Church became the official state
religion. Accepting establishment, the Church found itself locked into endorsing
the existing social order, sanctifying it and proclaiming its benevolence. That
much is obvious: it's the merest clich�. But what is not usually noticed is the
fact that as the faith of the Church became the official ideology of the Empire,
so the Church became locked in to a very strongly realistic and cosmological
understanding of its own faith.
This intensely cosmological orientation of
Church-Christianity survives to this day. To this day the debate about "science
and religion", especially in the English-speaking world, focuses around attempts
to weave together scientific theories about the origin of the universe and of
life, and theological doctrines about God's creation of the world, of life, and
of the first human beings. Anglophone scientist-theologians have been arguing
since Newton in favour of a condominium in which religious doctrine and
scientific theory shall jointly provide the establishment's world-picture and
combine to assure the common people of the wisdom and benevolence of the cosmic
and social order. They passionately desire to ensure that physics, chemistry,
biology and religion shall continue to coexist harmoniously in school and in
university syllabuses, and that the Church shall continue to have a voice in the
counsels of the nation. They want to sanctify the present world-order, and they
entirely forget that Christianity claims to be founded on a man who said that we
should live as if we think that the present world-order is going to pass away
entirely very soon. Jesus wanted us to live
a cosmology, but we have got ourselves locked into living
on the basis of a cosmology.
There is no doubt that the point here is curiously
difficult for ecclesiastical Christians to grasp. So cosmologically-minded have
they become, so convinced are they that there is a readymade sacred cosmos, an
objectively-real and intelligible order of things out there which we are
pre-designed to be able to understand and to live by, that they find it
genuinely difficult to grasp anti-realist philosophy, and to grasp that there
are major religious traditions which are not cosmological and do not regard the
world as divinely-created.
Nevertheless, the truth is that any reformation of
Christianity must break the emotional and political link with cosmology.
Kingdom-religion is post-cosmological.
You may perhaps only be able to learn this by having a really close brush with
death, and learning how little the thought of the wisdom and benevolence of the
established order of things means to you in that moment: but learn it you must.
The overarching notion of "the universe" may do a useful job in current physical
theorizing, but it is of next to no religious or philosophical use. What has the
universe ever done for you? You should not try to found your own thinking on the
idea of an immanent logos that pervades the present world-order, and you should
not derive your moral values from the present world order. Our picture of the
world order is only a human construct and not a very satisfactory one. To think
clearly in religion you should see everything as passing away, really passing
away. You have to radicalize the idea of universal transience, as in their
different ways Jesus and the Buddha teach you to do.
Put it another way: Rene Descartes founded modern critical
thinking by requiring us to pass through a moment of universal
doubt. He did not do this entirely consistently: indeed, he expressly
excluded revealed religion and some other matters about which it was in those
days not safe to urge doubt. But what he did say was enough to launch the
project of modern critically-tested empirical knowledge.
Then, two-and-a-half centuries later, Friedrich Nietzsche
radicalizes Descartes by requiring people who want to think clearly about
questions of philosophy, ethics and religion to have looked nihilism in the
face. This requirement makes Nietzsche the modern philosopher who clears our
heads of the idea of substance and of the idea that something out there decides
our values for us and tells us how to live. He forces us to go back to the very
beginning, and helps us grasp again the radicalism of Jesus and the Buddha.
Can Church-Christianity, seeking renewal and
self-transcendence, really go back now to its own beginning by shedding all its
structures and assumptions? It seems not. Yet it is true, as we noted earlier,
that there are some Kingdom elements within Church-Christianity. In particular,
the Eucharist symbolizes the death of God and his distribution into the
fellowship of believers; and Jesus expressly associates the Eucharist with the
Kingdom. And secondly, Pentecost celebrates the empowering effect of God's
ceasing to be Other and being instead poured out into human beings as Spirit. So
both the Eucharist and Pentecost are about the coming of Kingdom-religion; and
since they are both entrenched within the Church, might they not provide routes
by which the Church could now seek to go beyond itself into the Kingdom?
 On all this, see Matthew 5-7. Read these chapters
with an eye open for the extraordinary contradiction between the passages
recommending cautious, secretive, inward church-spirituality, and the passages
recommending all-out, expressive, solar spirituality. Then ask yourself why
there has historically been no discussion of this glaring inconsistency.
 Open any page of Luther's writings, says Kierkegaard, 'and note in every
line the strong pulse beat of personal appropriation': Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Swenson-Lowrie translation,
Princeton University Press 1941, p.327. And Kierkegaard himself sees (religious)
truth as 'an objective uncertainty held fast in an appropriation-process of the
most passionate inwardness', p.182. But of course Kierkegaard himself does not
quite complete the process of appropriation, turn inside-out, and then break
through into kingdom religion. He never quite made it, alas.
 In the thought, principally, of D F Strauss, L A Feuerbach and Karl Marx.