The Atlas Project
The Atlas Project
May 20, 2021
Episode 47: Is Religion Oppressive?
Play • 1 hr 15 min

The Hosts
Chris Kutarna is an author, speaker, facilitator and founder of basecamp (@onecampfire) and the Neue Geographical Society (@braveneueways). He challenges the world to brave new ways, breaking old maps and making new ones towards a shared horizon of a better world. Follow @ChrisKutarna on all social media.

Scott Jones is a podcaster (Give & Take), speaker, theologian and consultant. He weaves his knowledge of religion, current events, and pop culture to bring listeners on a conversational journey to something entertaining, informative, and oftentimes enlightening. Follow @ScottKentJones on all social media.

Navigate
[00:37] - Introduction
[02:12] - What’s up on Clubhouse?
[04:35] - Religion in the escalating Israel/Palestine conflict.
[10:15] - “Religion is at its best when it’s deapocalyptizing things.”

[13:25] - The culture war in the US is fueled by religion.
[20:11] - Religion is one of many ideological tools of culture.
[26:08] - The personal habit of religious practice.
[31:05] - Democracy and the ethnostate of Israel.
[41:21] - Is religion oppressive? It depends on its role in society.
[45:14] - The phenomenon of religious innovation in the US.
[51:27] - Is the weight of religion too great?
[55:38] - What do we take from all of this?
[1:02:36] - Ask yourself: Where is the evidence of religion in our lives?
[1:11:11] - Scott gets emotional about The Crown.
[1:13:02] - Closing

The Timeless Outputs
Religion is a given. It is, despite its critics, part of human culture. We hunger for transcendence. So the question becomes not how do we get rid of religion, but how do we navigate its role in our societies? Acknowledging that religion - including and especially secular religion - is a part of our lives and maybe our greatest defence from its oppression. Maybe religion is most oppressive when it’s silent.

Religion is at its best when it is deapocalypticizing the world. And, when it is doing the work of creating more equitable societies. So then, how can religion become a tool for people to engage in and be helpful to a democratic society, rather than a barrier to them? Let’s ask ourselves and others: what is religion for in our communities?

Sources / Read more
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Paul Tillich
Christopher Hitchens
A Brief History of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Protestant Catholic Jew by Will Herberg
Seculosity by David Zahl
The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

What to do next?
Follow the Brave New Thinking Clubhouse: Scott loves Clubhouse. A lot. And, we’re hosting a debrief of this episode and workshop for the next on (Is China right?) in Clubhouse on Monday, May 24th at 9:00pm GMT. Follow the Brave New Thinking Clubhouse to join.

Subscribe & don’t miss an episode: Next week, Scott & Chris take on China, or rather the question “Is China right?” (If you join May 24th’s Brave New Thinking Clubhouse, you might get a mention.)

And, consider the outputs: Ask yourself the questions Scott & Chris found in the conversation. Start a conversation with your family, friends, or colleagues.
The Socials
basecamp @onecampfire
The Neue Geographical Society @braveneueways

Chris @ChrisKutarna
Scott @ScottKentJones

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