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Contemporary Faith

Monday March 25 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT

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What could a modern, intellectually honest religiosity look like?
Last time, we talked about the value of intellectual humility and having the wisdom to sometimes sacrifice the notion of truly “knowing” something. On the fifth (!!) iteration of Miriam and Shahid’s salons on the timeless topics of community and religion, let’s take a turn towards the philosophical and theological.

Myth plays a huge role in religion. Creation stories, miracles, the supernatural, the afterlife – these form the basis of countless rituals and practices. To the secular mind, myths can seem absurd, and their scientific impossibility is often cited as the reason for one leaving their religion – because after all, how can we live life on the basis of stories that never happened? On the other hand, religious fundamentalists often cite scripture as historical fact, and refuse to contend with a worldview that doesn’t gel nicely with this notion. If God said it, it has to be true, and our scientific understanding of things is likely incomplete – right?

But is it perhaps possible to wrestle with myth and theology in a way that is consistent with modern life? Do we need to think of myth as historical fact in order to accept or reject religious practice?

 Other questions on the table include:

  • What are our modern myths? In what ways do we suspend empiricism and rationality in our lives right now?
  • What templates exist out there for older, intellectually honest religiosity?
  • How do we approach the world in a way that’s enchanted (in contrast to Weber’s disenchantment) but still grounded in a modern self?
  • Can scientific knowledge evoke awe in the same way that myth can?


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Monday March 25
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT
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