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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 5. 1964.

Shallow Religion

Shallow Religion

Dear Sir,—There is much religion but little theology in this University. Christ's little battalion here is very well organised into two main streams, which to an outsider, are very much the same.

In each abounds superficiality of thought from which emanates self conscious piety, small-mindedness and intolerance towards the "obvious sinners and no hopers"-as I have found myself classified. There is no gift of the Spirit, unless it be a certain deformity around the mouth and eyes; there is much distorted talk about fellowship to brother men synthesised in a "cheesy flash" reserved for meetings only.

In general there is nothing more pleasant or Godly about these "witnesses" or "banner holders." they show' no greater tolerance towards mankind nor any greater openness in their thoughts, and beneath the sanctimonious veneer lies no greater strength of character or rigidity of principles.

Much more thought and less feeling is required. Having never been so fortunate as to have had a "religious experience" I am perhaps not qualified to make such a statement, for I have never had the luck to "be saved", "see the light" or be moved by cinematic reproductions of my apparently electric God. I do not presume to expound absolute truth herein, but I am convinced that religion should be a subconscious state of mind and spirit which it is possible to invoke by an unheretical effort.

Tolerance towards other people which does not include a compromising of Christian principles, should exist spontaneously. If there be such a thing as the Holy Spirit. A deeper understanding of theology makes such an aspiration more possible.

Superficiality cannot have a permanent impact; we must feel far deeper down, which, as students, it is our business to do. I entirely agree with our Chaplain's warning and if my observations be correct, the results of a "University without Theology" are in full bud.

Yours faithfully,

Sue Cook