Is religion more science than art?

A Muslim Professor in Cairo, a well-known authority on Islamic history, once remarked to me that religion, in his view, was not so much a matter of science as of art. When I asked what he meant by this, he explained that in a scientific monograph the strict accuracy of all the relevant facts was of fundamental importance, while in a poem the basic question was not whether every detail would stand up to scientific analysis, but rather the aesthetic impact of the composition as a whole. Similarly, in matters of religion, the criterion was not whether the facts on which Christianity, Islam, or any other religion was said to rest would stand up to historical investigation, but whether the religion concerned made those who followed in it happier in themselves and more helpful to others.

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