Talk in Oregon

Talk in Oregon July 7, 2006

Just in case anyone is interested and can make it: I’m going to be speaking in the Summer Institute of the Jefferson Center for Religion and Philosophy in Ashland, Oregon, on August 5. They have an good lineup of speakers, including Matt Young, who should also be of interest to Secular Outpost readers.

The Jefferson Center is a liberal religious group, so it should be interesting. I’ll have as many questions to ask them as I’m sure they’ll want to ask me. One question I’d like to explore is the matter of religion, as opposed to just the supernatural. Although I’ve written an awful lot on supernatural claims, most of religious life is about other things, only indirectly involving the faithfuls’ relationship to supernatural realities. It should be interesting to have some conversations on why liberal religious people still feel a strong need for some sort of attenuated supernatural conviction (“the transcendent” or whatever). In a scientific context, it comes across as being evasive, but then again, they also seem very much concerned to protect religion from “scientism,” “reductionism,” or whatever.

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