— Vincent Van Gogh Dutch post-Impressionist painter (1853-1890) 1853 - 1890
In his letter to Theo, from Etten, c. 21 December 1881, Letter #164 http://webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/10/164.htm, as translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, as published in The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh (1991) edited by Robert Harrison] <!-- also quoted in Dear Theo: The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh (1995) Edited by Irving Stone -->
Kontextus: That God of the clergymen, He is for me as dead as a doornail. But am I an atheist for all that? The clergymen consider me as such — be it so; but I love, and how could I feel love if I did not live, and if others did not live, and then, if we live, there is something mysterious in that. Now call that God, or human nature or whatever you like, but there is something which I cannot define systematically, though it is very much alive and very real, and see, that is God, or as good as God. To believe in God for me is to feel that there is a God, not a dead one, or a stuffed one, but a living one, who with irresistible force urges us toward aimer encore; that is my opinion.