The so-called “myth of secularization” held that, with standards of living and education levels rising around the world, traditional religious beliefs and affiliations would eventually fade away. More and more people, it was thought, would join the West in its state of living without supernatural commitments or ancient superstitions, guided solely by rationality, empirical evidence and enlightened self-interest. This myth appears to be mistaken on at least two fronts. To begin with, religiosity has by no means faded away. In some regions of the world levels of religiosity have risen dramatically, and in many places strongly fundamentalist regimes have replaced secular ones. Religious-based violence seems to be alive and well. At a deeper level, it is questionable whether or not it is possible for human beings to live as purely secular moderns. Prof. Slingerland’s talk will focus on this deeper level, discussing a variety of historical, philosophical and psychological evidence suggesting that human beings cannot function outside a framework of metaphysical commitments that function to support both moral judgments and a broader sense of purpose or meaning. His purpose is not to deny the uniqueness or desirability of modern secular liberalism, merely to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of what it means to live in a secular age.
Prof. Edward Slingerland is Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. His research specialties and teaching interests include Warring States (5th-3rd c. B.C.E.) Chinese thought, religious studies, cognitive linguistics, ethics, and the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences. His latest monograph is entitled, Mind and Body in Early China: Beyond Orientalism and the Myth of Holism (OUP, forthcoming).
Please RSVP by end of day February 25th, 2018 to email@example.com or preferably, EventBrite.
As an aside on parking, while it may appear that the parking is completely full, if you study the following map you will see there is ample available parking around the Nat Bailey Stadium on all sides. Parking areas are highlighted in red.
February 26, 2018 at 7:00pm
Hillcrest Community Centre - Room 328 - (4575 Clancy Loranger Way, Vancouver, BC)