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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #9

"Alas, the history of all religion seems to be about the same, that a founder with a beautiful and mystic grasp on reality, tries to tell his followers something of its essence by means of symbolism. And after his death, and sometimes before, they turn it into literal, rigid, dogmatism. It's repeated over and over. Just at present in the Episcopal church (at least the Vermont diocese) the literal and materialistic interpretation of ritual is absolutely triumphant. And indeed in the Roman Catholic Church the reaction against this attempt to consider their ritual as symbolical and not actual reality and in matter, is growing more intense. I don't think you or I would be welcome, saying our own kind of prayers, in either High Church or Roman Catholic Church. nowadays, because our heresy has been labelled with increasing definiteness, as absolutely untenable."

-Dorothy Canfield, letter to Zephine Humphrey, January 10, 1945, in Keeping Fires Night and Day: Selected Letters of Dorothy Canfield Fisher, ed. Mark J. Madigan (1993), p. 242

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