The Meaning of Religious Action
This is a series of four lectures based on Flood’s recent book The Importance of Religion: Meaning and Action in Our Strange World (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).
A prevailing idea from the Enlightenment, still with us today, is that the light of reason would dispel the darkness of religion and reveal the universe to us. While the desire for enlightenment and the attendant aspiration for a better human future are commendable, the identification of religion with darkness and ignorance is problematic. Religion has not gone away and is a topic of deep concern both because of its destructive capacity and for its constructive capacity as a resource that gives people truth, beauty, and goodness. These lectures are within the broad claim that the importance of religion is existential: religions provide significant meaning to life and guide people in their choices and practices.