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We need a new story about meaning
We need a new story about meaning

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Many argue we are facing a crisis of meaning. Secular stories about value and purpose have failed and we need to arc back to ancient stories about our place in the universe claim those like Ayaan Hirsi Ali – once a staunch atheist and recently a Christina convert. Anna Wierzbicka explains why language is central to this crisis, and how a simple but powerful story could be the key to solving this predicament.  In her recent autobiographical essay “Why I am now a Christian”, the prominent public intellectual of Somali background Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Unherd, November 11, 2023) speaks of “the power of a unifying story”. Once a Muslim, then an atheist, and now a Christian; in her essay, Hirsi Ali applies this phrase to Islam: “The lesson I learned from my years with the Muslim Brotherhood was the power of a unifying story…to…mobilize the Muslim masses”. A unifying story implies a “we” and in the case of the foundat…

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