Little does contemporary religion ask of humanity. It is ready to offer comfort; it has no courage to challenge. It is ready to offer edification; it has no courage to break idols, to shatter callousness.
The trouble is that religion has become “religion” – institution, dogma, ritual. It is no longer an event … It is customary to blame secular science and antireligious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid.
When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living foundation; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless.
Abraham Joshua Heschel, “The Insecurity of Freedom,” p 3-4.