I’ve begun James P. Carse’s book, The Religious Case Against Belief, which is a critique of the identification of the notion of Religion (or mystery) with Belief (or adherence to one set of rules, one set of ‘facts’). I’ve only started it, but it’s promising.
He points out that Belief thrives on opposition, on conflict. That heroic stands depend on a real or imagined oppressor. This ties in, in my mind, with the notion brought fwd by Lee Harris in his book, Civilization and Its Enemies, where he points out that Jews, Americans, secular people, Europeans, etc. are only stick figures in the self-contained psycho-drama of Islamic Extremism. Carse argues that there is an interrelation of Belief and Counter-Belief, each egging the other on, unable to let things lie, each unable to re-assure itself of its own rectitude without the provocation of the ‘Wrong’ belief.
Alas, under-achiever that I am, I haven’t finished either of these, but need to…! Back to the stacks.