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Ray Bradbury discusses Religion, Faith and Love

Photo by Alan Light, 1975.

Photo by Alan Light, 1975.

Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451 and numerous short stories, is widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s most important writers. As his 90th birthday approaches later this month, Bradbury reflects back on his life, work and the gift that allows him to conjure “the monsters and angels” of creativity, in an interview with CNN.com. Of his talent he says, “It’s a God-given thing, and I’m so grateful, so, so grateful. The best description of my career as a writer is, ‘At play in the fields of the Lord.’ ” Fellow writer and friend Sam Weller has recently published a collection of interviews, Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews (Stop Smiling Books, 336pgs), that focuses a whole chapter on the author’s faith. A self described, “delicatessen religionist”, Bradbury doesn’t adhere to one singular religion, but draws inspiration from both Western and Eastern faiths. The foundation of his belief in a higher-power has always been love. “…I love all people. I love the world. I love creating. …Everything in our life should be based on love.”

Bradbury was brought up in the Baptist church as child, and has been described as Unitarian, but he rejects these kinds of labels. “He says faith is necessary but that we should accept the fact that when it comes to God, none of us know anything,” explains Weller. The biographer sees a strong thread of Christianity woven through out Bradbury’s body of work, which includes stories of redemption and references to Christ.

“Jesus is a remarkable person,” states Bradbury. Though the author does not view himself as a Christian. “I’m a Zen Buddhist if I would describe myself,” he explains. “I don’t think about what I do. I do it. That’s Buddhism. I jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down.”

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