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Going to the stake for religion

21 January, 2007

Interviewer: “Are the virgin birth and the Resurrection metaphorical stories?”

Dr Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury): “No, I don’t think they are. … there is the bare fact being asserted that Jesus had no human father, … and the bare fact being asserted that there wasn’t a body in the tomb or anywhere else. These seem to me to be vastly significant absences, the sort of absence, darkness, mystery where God is found.

“What I’m not going to the stake for is whether every detail of 1st Chapter, Matthew and 20th Chapter, John is precise reporting. … what people are doing in the New Testament is floundering around trying to find the words, so that over a generation a pattern of stories builds up, based on a set of perfectly real experiences and a perfectly real state of affairs. But what we haven’t got is a tidy report filed on Easter Sunday.”

(taken from Belief)

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