A Passage to India
by E.M. Forster
A Passage to India Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)
[Mrs. Moore] must needs pronounce [God's] name frequently, as the greatest she knew, yet she had never found it less efficacious. Outside the arch there seemed always an arch, beyond the remotest echo a silence. (1.5.102)
Perhaps it is because Mrs. Moore's version of Christianity is so all-embracing that it leads her to question Christianity itself. Her experience in India makes her question whether Christianity is the only way of understanding the world, whether there is a religion (or "arch") that is greater than Christianity, whether there is a religion even greater than that religion, and so on and so forth. Perhaps beyond religion there is nothing at all, "a silence."
"[…] There will have to be something universal in this country – I don't say religion, for I'm not religious, but something, or how else are barriers to be broken down?"
[Adela] was only recommending the universal brotherhood he sometimes dreamed of, but as soon as it was put into prose it became untrue. (2.14.66)
Adela's comment here testifies to her own modest assessment of her psychology. She's not terribly smart, she admits, so what will prevent her from turning into a Mrs. Turton? She asks Aziz for a way of looking at the world, something like religion, that will sustain her. If Aziz is put off by Adela even though he agrees with her need for a universal brotherhood, it's because Adela always has a problem looking past her abstract appreciation for the "real" India and connecting with actual Indians.
Religion appeared, poor little talkative Christianity, and [Mrs. Moore] knew that all its divine words from "Let there be Light" to "It is finished" only amounted to "boum." (2.14.99)
This quote brings Mrs. Moore's questioning of her Christianity to a head (see Quote #4). "Let there be light," the words God uses in the Old Testament to create the world and the universe, is muffled into an insignificant murmur. The cave's echo reduces everything she believes in to nothing, to sheer meaninglessness.