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How to Flourish: Religion & Spirituality
Wednesday August 23 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
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In the sixth salon of a nine-part series on human flourishing, join host Ashley Zhang to discuss religion and spirituality, reason and faith, fate and free will, the sacred and the profane, and how they can guide us in leading flourishing lives.
“To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant, and which is animated only by faith and hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary influence of example.”
Samuel Johnson, Life of Milton
“I like it much better than ‘religious’ or ‘spiritual’ — to be a seeker after the sacred or the holy, which ends up for me being the really real.”
– Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, On Being with Krista Tippett
Over 140 years ago, in the aftermath of the Enlightenment, Nietzsche wrote: “God is dead … and we have killed him!” In our increasingly secular society, in which reason and faith are often held at odds with each other, it seems that religion has left a void in our society that we are struggling to fill today.
Historically, religion has brought us community and belonging, meaning and purpose, values and moral guidance, and a connection to something greater than ourselves. All of these, we have found, are central to a life well-lived — and are now in short supply. Has man truly killed God, as Nietzsche claimed? Or can we craft a new peaceful dialogue between reason and faith, one that borrows the best elements of both and guides us toward flourishing lives?
- What is the role of religion in our world and our lives today?
- How can reason and faith coexist?
- Do we have free will? If so, how can we use it to direct our lives toward flourishing?
- What spiritual and moral guidance can we borrow from religion to better our lives, regardless of our faith?
- How can we find the sacred or holy in the mundane?
Not required, just skim what you find interesting!
- Parable of the Madman | Friederic Nietzsche
- Notes on Post-Secular Society | Jürgen Habermas
- “God and the Good Life” syllabus (Notre Dame)
- The Will to Believe | William James (summary)
- What Hope Remains? | Peter Gordon (The New Republic)
- The Meaning of Life | Liel Leibovitz (Tablet Magazine)
- Mandates of Heaven | Lapham’s Quarterly
- Section 48 of “Song of Myself” (Walt Whitman)
- Søren Kierkegaard & Bertrand Russell on faith
- Faith: Historical Perspectives (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
- Podcast: Barbara Brown Taylor — “This Hunger for Holiness” | The On Being Project