New Scientist is currently running a series on hot new ideas in the biology of religion. I’d like to bring your attention to two articles in particular:
First, the interview with Alain de Botton, author of Religion for Atheists, offers an intriguing quote:
New Scientist: Some atheists argue that we ought to be able to find enough meaning in the grandeur of the natural world. Do you agree?
Alain de Botton: That’s precisely what I think, but I think we need to structure the encounter with that grandeur a little bit better. Essentially, religions are choreographers of spiritual moments, or psychological moments, and on the whole atheists have not been choreographers at all. I think the genius of religions is that they structure the inner life.
I think that sums up pretty well the project here at HP. At the end of the day, it’s all about structuring the inner life. There will be more to say about that in a few weeks, when we publish a review of Loyal Rue’s book Religion Is Not About God.
Second, don’t miss the article “Religion Is the Key to Civilization.” Norenzayan wonderfully sums up some of the hottest new research on the role of religions in our evolutionary history. Again, there will be more to say about that too with the upcoming review of Loyal Rue’s book.