What is the origin of religious experience?
How did humanity’s first fearful attempts at describing the world around them transform into the rigid orthodox institutions of today’s religions? Why do so many of the world’s religions share similar myths and metaphors to describe the human condition, even as they demonize each other? Should religion play a role in our society and politics? And what will religion look like one hundred, one thousand, or even ten thousand years from now?
What questions or comments do you have for the panelists? Leave them below and we'll try to get your questions answered on stage during the Q&A.
Gods and Prophets is a four-part lecture series that takes the audience on a journey through humanity’s encounter with the divine—from the Neanderthal shaman who etched the world of spirits onto the walls of caves, to the prophetic characters who inspired the world’s great religions, and the theoretical physicists who, in their quest to describe the inner workings of reality, have become our modern day prophets. Each lecture features a robust moderated conversation among some of the most fascinating and dynamic thinkers and writers on religion today.
Elaine Pagels will be selling and signing copies of Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation following the event.
Robert Thurman will be selling and signing copies of Why the Dalai Lama Matters following the event.
Reza Alsan will be selling and signing copies of No god but God following the event.
This talk is part 1 of a 4-part series.
Elaine Pagels is a professor of religion at Princeton University and the author of Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation.
Mark Smith is Skirball Professor of Bible at NYU and the author of The Early History of God.
Robert Thurman is Je Tsongkhapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and the author of Inner Revolution and Why the Dalai Lama Matters.
Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is the founder of AslanMedia.com, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world. Reza is a Wallerstein Professor at Drew University's Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict.