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The Sacred Fire

by Leon 'Bob' McNarry, BSc'49, MSc'50

the sacred fire

This book, The Sacred Fire by Leon ‘Bob’ McNarry, BSc’49, MSc’50, is his third book. "It is not a learned discussion about religion nor is it a philosophical dissertation; following a lifetime of concern, it is rather, a consideration of the consequences of the role of religions in the modern world. My concerns troubled me in my teenage years when I realized the worldly behaviour of adults did not match their professions of piety while attending church services."

"In composing this book I have quoted extensively from relevant books; the thoughts of many concerned people, who are contributing to the thinking about religions, are part of my message as are the consequences that arise from those thoughts. I could have selected other quotations, but that is not important—what is important is that I am asking you leave the comfort of belief and engage in the struggle for reason. Can our civilization not be based on empathy, concern and reason, supported by knowledge accumulated over the past 2000 years, rather than the many ancient, complex and conflicting beliefs we call religions?"

"The ultimate purpose of this book is to present the opportunity to think outside your own belief system—mythical beliefs are not knowledge about reality, though they may lead to understanding."

McNarry obtained his BSc from Western in 1949, with his MSc in 1950. He was employed at The National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa until his retirement in 1979.

His first little book: Poems, Tales and Whimsy was followed by Science Versus Politics and Economics - Why Scientific Literacy Is Essential. (It is a chronological collection of his essays about science and society from 1946 - 2012.)
All three books are available from:;;; and on order from all major book stores world-wide in book form, or as ebooks from electronic media.
Please go to  to have a look inside the books.
Having reached the age of 96, Bob would be happy to hear from fellow Western alumni:

This article appeared in the Spring 2013 edition of Alumni Gazette
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