This is a reading/discussion group that meets once each month at the Gryphon Café (across the street from the church). Each month we read a book (usually shorter) that in some way shaped or is shaping the world. We always have a mixture of church and community people, and the discussion is lively and stimulating.
We will be reading and discussing The Religious Case Against Belief by James P. Carse, an insightful and provocative examination of the relationship between religion and belief. While it seems paradoxical to oppose religion to belief Carse convincingly demonstrates that belief and religion are too often falsely linked. Belief, he suggests, is a response to ignorance. Carse examines three kinds of ignorance: “ordinary” ignorance is simply lack of knowledge of some kind, such as the weather in Africa. “Willful” ignorance purposefully avoids clear and available knowledge, such as Creationists acting as if they know nothing of evolution. The tenacious beliefs that grow out of willful ignorance often result in bloody religious conflicts. Finally, what Carse calls “higher” ignorance accepts the fact that no matter how many truths we accumulate, our knowledge falls infinitely short of the truth. Individuals acting in higher ignorance can recognize the many truths that religious traditions can offer. Seen in Carse’s provocative way, religion transcends the narrow boundaries established by beliefs, and transforms our ways of thinking about the world.
Come join the discussion … it’s always lively!