As I was thinking about Djeda Gjordje and his well-worn Bible, I remembered having heard that in any village in Mauritania, one of the poorest nations in the world, you could find a dozen men able to recite the whole Qur’an by heart. True, unlike most of the Bible, the Qur’an is written in verse, which is easier to remember than prose. But still it takes time to commit such a large book to memory and to keep it there. On the fringes of what we call civilization, many people take a great deal of time to read texts about great questions of human existence and the challenges of a life worth living.
Over the past decades cultural critics have bemoaned the loss of biblical literacy in the West. Even educated people are unable to understand great classics of Western literature because they are unfamiliar with the Bible, which forms its indispensable background. That’s a major cultural loss. But that loss is small compared to the moral, spiritual and intellectual impoverishment that comes from letting our lives be saturated by the superficial instead of being immersed into the profound.
Read the whole thing here. Via T1:9.