❮ Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Live!

Volume 8: Comparative Religion (1954)

Religion is set with speech; every act of speech in society testifies to our belief in God, because God is not an abstraction, but the power by which peace, truth and efficiency are united. Something is true, gentlemen, but if I say it, I hope that somebody else will acknowledge the truth. That is, truth will become a power.                                                     

—October 12, 1954

In Comparative Religion (1954)Rosenstock-Huessy does not provide a review of world religions, but explores whether one ought to compare religions at all and, if so, how. He starts by accusing his students of being ignorant of the faith they themselves actually live by (as opposed to where they go on Sunday), and goes on to examine the true nature of religion in general, and of America’s unacknowledged religion in particular. Defining religion as the power to undergo change, Rosenstock-Huessy goes on to discuss the connections and opposition of philosophy and religion, religion and timing, and religion and speech. He discusses in depth the five spheres of change we all face: mechanical, organic, working, loving, and political change. He suggests that religions can be compared on the basis of their relationship to these spheres of change.

Lecture 10 is an unusually good example of Rosenstock-Huessy outlining his thoughts to a class. Lecture 26 contains an excellent overview of the historical principles found in the second volume of Soziologie.