Topics Worth Investigating

  1. What are the common features of the world religions discussed by Vivekananda?

  2. Alfred North Whitehead writes about the relation between religion and science:

    Religion will not regain its old power until it can face change in the same spirit as does science. Its principles may be eternal, but the expression of those principles requires continual development.… The great point to be kept in mind is that normally an advance in science will show that statements of various religious beliefs require some sort of modification. It may be that they have to be expanded or explained, or indeed entirely restated. If the religion is a sound expression of truth, this modification will only exhibit more adequately the exact point which is of importance.[1]

    Explain whether Vivekananda would agree or disagree with Whitehead's assessment.

  3. Samuel Taylor Coleridge observes the following relationships between philosophy, history, and religion. Contrast Vivekananda's view and your view with Coleridge's.

    A religion, that is, a true religion, must consist of ideas and facts both; not of ideas alone without facts, for then it would be mere Philosophy; nor of facts alone without ideas, of which those facts are symbols, or out of which they arise, or upon which they are grounded: for then it would be mere History.[2]



Alfred North Whitehead. Science and the Modern World. New York: Macmillan, 1925.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Table Talk, November 20, 1831 in Collected Works. Ed. Kathleen Coburn, Princeton, N..J.: Princeton University Press, 1990.