Overview:

Quarkism is a (fake) contemporary theistic movement named after the presumed lowest of all subatomic particles, the quark.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Quarkism. noun. A modern (fake) neo-theology that embraces science.

In the fifth century BC, a Greek man named Democritus speculated that matter was composed of particles he called atoms, a Greek word meaning uncuttable, indivisible. Democritus thought that an atom was the smallest undividable part of existent things. (To make the point, I’m not dividing this made-up word undividable).

Democritus would be astonished to learn that modern physicists discovered the atom was indeed cuttable and reducible to even smaller, sub-atomic particles, such as:

Axions, Baryons, Bosons, Electrons, Exitons, Fermions, Gluinos, Gravitinos, Gravitons, Hadros, Magnons, Molecules, Mesons, Neutralinos, and the little Neutrinos, Photinos, Photons, Plarons, Pomerons, Positrons, Protons, Sleptons, Squarks, Tauons, and Quarks

Quarkism is a (fake) contemporary theistic theory named after the presumed lowest of all subatomic particles, the quark, a word pinched from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake by physicist Murray Gell-Man.

In distinction to ancient traditional theisms that invoke height in reference to the deity, like ‘The God On High’ and ‘The Most High God,’ Quarkism speaks of  ‘The God On Low’ and ‘The Most Low God.’

By this view, God is not the highest, biggest thing there is in the universe but the lowest, smallest thing there is.

Just as physicists say that quarks are the glue of existence, so too do Quarkites say that God is the bond of all things.

Just as physicists say that quarks are not in one single location but occupy all existence, so too do Quarkites say that God inhabits no specific place but is everywhere all at the same time.

In devotional practice, Quarkites tend to lower their gaze: they look downward and do not stare at the heavens in prayer or raise their hands as if God is up high.

Quarkite hymnodists have composed songs of worship with titles like ‘Low, Low, Low’ and ‘Beneath Perception’ and ‘Little Deity’ and ‘Just a Tiny Walk With Thee.’

Quarkism is open to instruction from the sciences and professes deep embarrassment about the Galileo fiasco of the seventeenth-century.

Since Quarkism believes in what it calls deep consonance between theology and science, Quarkite theologians often earn degrees in the natural sciences in addition to the D.D. (Doctor of Divinity).

The town of Kleingott, Germany is the site of the first Quarkist seminary. As with the origins of so many other renovating theologies of the modern West, this town is smack dab at the center of the olden, yet freshly bejeweled, Black Forest.

Quarkism is one of many neo-theological experiments representing a type of religious accommodationism that could be viewed with considerable suspicion, were you so inclined.

—from a book in progress called, An Opinionated Dictionary of Religion

J. H. McKenna (Ph.D.) has taught the history of atheism and other classes since 1999 at the University of California, where he has won teaching awards. He has published in academic journals and the LA...