His answer to the audience question, “Is religion potentially dangerous?” is one that’s often asked in the context of the seemingly intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
“…there are some scientists who say ‘I don’t think electrons really exist.’ It’s useful to think of them as existing. It’s useful to build computers with that image in mind of an electron, but I don’t think they really exist… when other people think of God as a personal thing, that’s as close as you can get given the constraints on human cognition and maybe it’s not something you should apologize for…”
Transcribing Krista’s interview with Robert Wright for next week’s show, I came across this passage, which reminded me of a conversation I had with a Hindu Sanyasi when I was 16. In Hinduism, “God” has different definitions depending on what appeals to you. For example, in my family, I grew up understanding that all the different deities were forms of one personal being. But working in India, I met people who literally believed every deity existed as a separate identity — true polytheism. And this Sanyasi was my first exposure to the idea of God not as a personal being.
A stirring scene from Bill T. Jones' musical "Fela" inspired us to learn more about orisas.
A classic comic on faith in equations. "You take two numbers and when you add them, they magically become one new number!"
Adele Diamond studies how social dramatic play can build "executive function" (EF) skills in children's brains. EF is a container term for capacities like inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility.
Fact-checking for this program leads down a puzzling path searching for a famous quote.
As we send this program on the airwaves, Armstrong is preparing to unveil her "Charter for Compassion" to the world.
Visualizing responses to a Physics World survey on religion and science.
The executive producer of Battlestar Galactica speaks to Winston's students about the religious influences embedded in the original 1978 version, including Mormon theology, numerology, and the signs of the zodiac.
Krista's conversation with Le Pichon draws connections to Karl Jaspers and Karen Armstrong.
Carefully selecting language in an invitation for expressions of Muslim identity.
A found image adds a layer to the relationship between Darwin's theory and religion.
"Yet these kinds of abuses — along with more banal injustices, like slapping a girlfriend or paying women less for their work — arise out of a social context in which women are, often, second-class citizens. That's a context that religions have helped shape, and not pushed hard to change."
A former guest's animated Harvard speech on how children handle situations of conflict.
Our online editor reflects on finding new meaning — and new life — in Krista's 2000 interview with Robert Coles.
Early this morning, the BBC World Service rebroadcast this CBC documentary about the uniquely American religion of Spiritualism. Lily Dale, a small town in southwestern New York state, was founded by a socially progressive group of Spiritualists in 1879 and is the epicenter for its practitioners.
Wondering what is a Spiritualist? Here’s the town’s definition:
One who believes, as the basis of his or her religion, in the continuity of life and in individual responsibility. Some, but not all, Spiritualists are Mediums and/or Healers. Spiritualists endeavor to find the truth in all things and to live their lives in accordance therewith.
“The main creed that I like to refer to when I think of Vedanta is as Swami Vivekananda said: ‘If you’re a Christian, be a good Christian. If you’re a Muslim, be a good Muslim. If you’re a Hindu, be a good Hindu.’”
This is the comment of 17 year-old Akhil, a young man interviewed as part of a new study released by the Search Institute’s Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence. The study is the first report from an ambitious project reaching across cultures, languages, and traditions to understand how today’s global youth experience and think about their spiritual growth. Focused on advancing the scientific study of this area of human development, the guiding philosophy of the endeavor is that good science is the key to good practice in fostering the formation and growth of spiritual identity.
USA Today has produced a nifty interactive feature in which they’ve taken data from the Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey and represented it graphically. The “topography of faith” section is a simple map that provides a breakdown of religious and denomination affiliations by state. I scrolled over my home state of North Dakota (yes, I’m a tad bitter that they statistically lumped it together with South Dakota as if it were a territory…) and was surprised to see the large percentage of Evangelical Protestants. And, as you canvas the states, take notice of the gold “unaffiliated” bar.