ROBERT BELLAH @ Berkeley Arts & Letters
Robert Bellah has a simple goal: to understand religion and explain where it came from and how it developed in biological and cultural evolution. Simple, but complex. In Religion in Human Evolution, Bellah argues religion is a cultural system and shows how it has evolved around the world.
The Axial Age is the period from 800-200 BCE when certain inspiring people arose around the world figures like Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, and other leaders who convinced people it made sense to make religion, not war. It was a period of great empires in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. But to Bellah, the term and period primarily reflect a turning point in religion and, if asked, he would say we are in an axial age now.
Bellah deliberately starts as far back as one can get to tell a story of multiple successive beginnings: the beginnings of play, ritual, myth, theology, and put altogether, the beginning of religion. He offers both a general theory of religion as a cultural systems and a full account of his general theory of religious evolution.
"[an] intellectual harvest of the rich academic life of a leading social theorist who has assimilated a vast range of biological, anthropological, and historical literature in the pursuit of a breathtaking projectIn this field I do not know of an squally ambitious and comprehensive study." Jurgen Habermas
"an extraordinarily rich book based on wide-ranging scholarship. It contains not just a host of individual studies, but is informed with a coherent and powerful theoretical structureOf course, it will be challenged. But it will bring the debate a great step forward, even for its detractors. And it will enable other scholars to build on its insights in further studies of religion past and present." Charles Taylor
Berkeley Arts & Letters @ First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way at Dana, Berkeley
7:30 PM (doors open 6:45)
Tickets $12 ($6 students) in advance; $15 at the door
First Congregational church of Berkeley (View)
2345 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|