So is Lane saying we should just bow our heads and say yes to everything taught
to us over the pulpit?
Actually, I've made the exact argument Lane Williams claims to have never
heard before. The history of religion that I'm familiar with makes guys
like Korihor anachronous for his time period. The ancients
didn't subscribe to an epistemic form of religion like we do today. They
knew things because the sunset was extra vivid on a particular day, or because a
season was better or worse than expected, or because mother or father said so.
They poured meaning into these things. The world was a magical place for them!
So they put their faith in stories and traditions and weren't too concerned
about how they were going to prove those things correct or not. Experience, its
interpretations, and knowledge were not so distinct in those days. Oh, Korihor is very much a modern skeptic. I don't see how his audience
would have understood a thing he was talking about, unless it was full of people
who grew up in an age of epistemology. Thus, he would have fit nicely in the
early-to-mid nineteenth century--local religious revivals notwithstanding!One thing is certain: Korihor's words are indeed for our day.