These quotations are taken from a wide range of sources and are offered to members of the University of Bolton by the Chaplaincy as "A Thought for the Week" for reflection and response. The quotations do not represent the views or policy of either the Chaplaincy or The University of Bolton. 

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8 Dec 2014

This quotation about Christmas could refer either to the religious or secular aspect:

Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it [is] born our art, our science, our religion.

Ralph W. Sockman
(Now to Live!, Kessinger Publishing, 2005)

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1 Dec 2014

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail. I try to increase the power God has given me to see the best in everything and every one, and make that Best a part of my life.

Helen Keller
(Optimism: An Essay)

Helen Keller(1880-1968) was a deaf and blind writer and social activist.

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24 Nov 2014

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure …There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you… As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson
(A Return to Love, Thorsons, New Edition, 1996)


17 Nov 2014

Interfaith Week begins on Sunday 16 November and during the week many will be celebrating the richness and diversity of faith, recognising that we all belong to one human race. Some suitable words from Nelson Mandela:

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

Nelson Mandela
(Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus, 1995)

10 Nov 2014

During the Second World War, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, academic, theologian and pastor, was imprisoned then executed for helping to smuggle Jews out of Germany. He regularly preached about peace and justice but also plotted to kill Hitler and had to reconcile himself with his involvement to kill another human being.

We are not simply to bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, 
we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(Life Together, SCM Press, 1954)

3 Nov 2014

In this year in which we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, a quotation about the ‘common good’:

The totalitarianism that leads to chains begins with the assumption that there is only one way of understanding the common good. Fascism is about wanting to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. It is a consequence of this assumption that if I think differently from you, then it must be because of error or wickedness. On the other hand, a pluralism that recognises many different ways – creative disharmony – is the best guarantor of healthy freedom.

The Revd Dr Giles Fraser
(The Church Times, 12/11/2010)