Roundtable Synopsis

A social scientist, an expert on science and Islam, and a card-carrying skeptic discuss how the clash between technology and religion reshapes our search for meaning. A skeptic, a devout Muslim scientist, and a professor of religion examine an intriguing paradox:  in an age of ever-increasing scientific knowledge more people than ever before are devout, as measured by attendance to a house of worship.  In the U.S. alone, three times more people attend a church, synagogue, temple, or mosque than did when the nation was founded.  They discuss how technology, versus science, may drive this trend.  From the alarm clock to 24-hour news to the cell phone, technology constantly disrupts us and, as a result, makes the inner contemplation necessary for a full spiritual life difficult if not impossible.  The guests delve into the rise of fundamentalism –  a reaction to modernity in general but also perhaps to Western rationalism – and agree that religion answers a deep human need for ritual, connection, and inspiration. With Muzaffar Iqbal, Donald E. Miller, Michael Shermer.

Contributors

Can Religion Withstand Technology?

Discussion