The complementary opposite of science isn’t religion, but embodiment. Despite their incredible effectiveness, scientific models and ideas are not reality. Only reality is reality. So stop trying to capture the entire world with theories, and get in your body instead. Read more

Certain aspects of personality orientation may naturally lead some people to religious belief and others to nonbelief; compared with religious believers atheists tend to be less social, more individualistic, and less socially conforming. At the same time, atheists’ characteristic suspicion of authority and skepticism of tradition may make them the natural choice for producing novel and creative solutions to problems. Read more

As political battles reach new heights, and the fabric of the nation seems stretched to its breaking point, civic religion – responsible, earnest, and humble, fully aware of our tarnished history – might be exactly what we need. Read more

Conservatives worry that offloading social responsibilities to an impersonal, systemic platform will corrode the collective bonds of daily, local life. But they aren’t very good at expressing this fear, and progressives aren’t very good at understanding it. Read more

Our world is filled with unspoken social conventions that transform messy, continuous information into clearer, binary data. Ritual is one of them. Anthropologist Roy Rappaport claimed that ritual, the “cybernetics of the holy,” simplifies and streamlines social information so that there’s less noise in the signal of culture. Read more

In a lot of ways religion is a Catch-22. It primes us to be strongly bonded to the people around us, which is one of the single biggest predictors of personal happiness, health, and life satisfaction. But the stronger our tribes get, the more outsiders look like enemies. The solution to this Catch-22 is to learn as much as we possibly can about religion, ritual, and their place in human life. Read more

Connor Wood argues that conservative and liberal thought are both invaluable: conservatives are experts on how to build and maintain small communities, while liberals focus best on big-picture and abstract problems. Do we need both to survive? Read more

If you force people to choose between traditional meaning and objective knowledge, they will choose meaning – and I don’t blame them. So, Dr. Pinker, please, get off your smug horse and stop bashing religion, spiritual beliefs, and traditions when advocating science. Our descendants will thank you. Read more

Even in the most integrated, holistic community, where everyone shares the same basic cosmological assumptions, some people are going to be more willing to rock the boat and generate new ideas than others.…In a large-scale, cosmopolitan culture like our own, novelty-seekers don’t necessarily have an intact web of culture to keep them engaged, and they may be more likely to fall victim to the kinds of self-destructive behavior that tightly-knit communities work against: alcoholism, drug abuse, and reading Charles Bukowski. Read more

Areas of Germany with high social integration and social capital saw a much quicker expansion of the Nazi party. What does this mean for religion? Read more

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