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A religion’s spirit…

…does not stand still. For better or for worse, it moves and mutates with the prized subject of the creed: its followers. The texts and manifestos can remain frozen in time in the shape of hallowed books and scrolls, but let’s face it, a religion – or any general philosophy – is only what its practitioners make of it, by how they choose to interpret those sacred texts and apply their interpretations to the present-day world (which probably resembles the time those texts were written about as much as an elephant resembles a mouse).

I think, then, it’s safe to summarize that:

The spirit of a religion or philosophy is best determined not from its originating texts but rather from its present-day interpretations amongst followers and, more importantly, how those interpretations are manifest in their actions and assertions.

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