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Chris Arnade studied the most destitute and seemingly hopeless Americans–street people, addicts, prostitutes, the wretchedly poor, the “underclass,” people often referred to as the “dregs of society”–searching for the shreds of human dignity that they still have by getting to know them. And a funny thing happened: He came to faith.
From a review by Kathryn Jean Lopez of Arnade’s book Dignity: Seeing Respect in Back Row America:
Hundreds - Services - Subjects - Course - Study
After attending “hundreds of different services [with his subjects in the course of his study],” he “couldn’t ignore the value in faith, not as a scientist, not as a person who claimed to want to learn from others.” At first, he saw it as a “utility,” but “there was more to it than that,” he realized. “My biases, my years steeped in rationality and privilege, [were] limiting a deeper understanding.” Perhaps, he writes, “religion was right, or at least as right as anything could be.” But, he admits, “getting there requires a level of intellectual humility that I am not sure I have” — which sounds more than a little bit like humility.
He explains that he was used to thinking he had all the answers — the luxury...
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