Lost Serenity

Today’s question concerns the concept of “lost peace” or “losing peace”. The key to this issue turns on recognizing the ambiguity in the concept of peace. Sometimes people talk about “world peace”, which is a mythical concept, given that there has never been a time in world history when there was not an armed conflict occurring somewhere in the world. A second and quite distinct concept is that of “peace of mind”, which might also be called human serenity. This is an individualistic human quality which one person can have while another lacks it altogether. Persons of faith often have peace of mind, whereas individuals without firm religious beliefs may lack such serenity. If it is true that more affluent areas of the world are showing a decline in traditional religious participation, this writer’s guess is that they are also more likely to exhibit declining “peace of mind”.

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