In the News: Elvis, Thoreau, Oprah, and more!

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

From Neal Gabler’s article, “The Elusive Big Idea,” at The New York Times yesterday:

It is no secret, especially here in America, that we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy. While we continue to make giant technological advances, we may be the first generation to have turned back the epochal clock — to have gone backward intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief.

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What Almost Everyone Else Believes

From “Which Way Madness Lies” by Rachel Aviv in the December issue of Harper’s magazine (subscription):

[Doctors] have to identify delusions before the patient really believes in them.  When does a strong idea take on a pathological flavor?  How does a metaphysical crisis morph into a medical one?  At what point does our interpretation of the world become so fixed that it no longer matters “what almost everyone else believes”?  Even William James admitted that he struggled to distinguish a schizophrenic break from a mystical experience.

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