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What’s after religion? Is it possible to recreate institutions offering deep belonging?

May 5, 2023 at 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT

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Membership in traditional civic institutions is on the decline and places of worship are no exception.

Religion has been a central institution in human societies for thousands of years, providing a sense of deep belonging through engagement in shared rituals, values, and spaces. However, in recent decades, traditional religious institutions have been declining in many parts of the world. At the same time, new forms of community and meaning-making have emerged, ranging from fitness brands like CrossFit to various forms of online groups and secular spirituality.

In her debut salon, Tope Olofintuyi will ask us to trace back the role of religion in our lives and consider the secular ways we channel a religious ethos. We’ll also engage in a thought experiment: Is it possible to create new institutions that offer deep belonging and a sense of meaning for people in the modern world?

Recommended Reading:

Loneliness is eating the world: The first installment in a series on social connection and belonging, written by Tope in her newsletter, Tangible.

Some questions we may explore:

  • What has been your personal experience with religion and religious institutions?
  • What are the key features of religion that provide a sense of belonging and community?
  • What role do rituals and traditions play in creating a sense of belonging?
  • What are some potential drawbacks of relying on institutions for our sense of belonging and meaning?
  • What role might social recognition and status play in communities offering deep belonging?
  • How can we balance the need for community and belonging with individual autonomy and diversity of thought?


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May 5, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
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Ticket price (US$)
Debut host ($10)