`Religiosity' /= `religion'... or does it?

From: Damien Broderick (d.broderick@english.unimelb.edu.au)
Date: Sat Dec 15 2001 - 20:01:56 MST

At 06:35 PM 12/15/01 -0800, Reason wrote:

>>From where I'm standing, religiosity looks like playing by someone else's
>rules & spirituality is making your own rules.

Weird, man. I started out writing this:

I would suggest that people cease misusing the word `religiosity' as if it
were a simple synonym for `religious faith' or `religiousness'.

`Religiosity' is a word with a specific denigratory meaning: it denotes
phoney piety, the pretense of devotion, etc.

Then I checked my Oxford dictionary, and bugger me it sez:

religiosity n. Being religious or religiose.

religiose a. Excessively religious.

Hmm. *Excessive* is an interesting modifier in this context. If there
really *were* a God Whose Divine Purpose for humans includes our abject
surrender and worship of the Godhead, then could one be *too* religious? I
detect an implied acknowledgement that extreme religious devotion often
masks neurosis or humbug.

So I'd still hope that people go easy on the word, which seems to contain
too easy a slur built into it.

Damien Broderick
[not a religious bone in my ruthlessly de-programmed body]

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