“That music you hear in the distance? It’s St Augustine, St Teresa, Teilhard de Chardin, Pascal, Kierkegaard and Simone Weil all singing together, and what they are singing is that, as Christ commanded, we are supposed to love God with our minds, as well as with our hearts and our souls and our strength. It is an illusion to think that there is any necessary conflict between a Christian commitment and free, adventurous thinking. No-one ever does their thinking on a blank sheet of paper. Every intellectual of every kind is in a conversation with some set of ideas, doctrines, ways of seeing the world, and that’s what makes their own thinking serious. The Christian conversation with Christian ideas, and with every other kind of idea, need not be defensive or imprisoning. Why is there a stereotype that says you have to choose between faith and thought? Two reasons, I think. One, that people think belief means entering a kingdom of fixed answers — when, in my experience, it really means living with more and more questions. Two, that people imagine religion must shrink as science grows bigger. But they don’t do the same thing, or occupy the same space. There is plenty of thinking room for both. The great contemporary American novelist Marilynne Robinson says there is nothing like a subscription to Scientific American to fill you with wonder at Creation,” – Francis Spufford, in a recent interview.