Famed atheist and essayist Christopher Hitchens wrote, “Religion is part of the human make-up. It’s also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy.” In the same work he also calls religion a man-mad wish that poisons everything. So which is it? Does religion build communities or tear them down? And must religion always be positioned in an all or nothing framework?
Meeting the divisive debate head-on are UBC psychology professor and author of Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict Ara Norenzayan; John Stackhouse; and Dr. Ingrid Mattson. Brent Bambury of CBC’s Day 6 moderates.
Ara Norenzayan’’s research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.