Michael Zank: Can Philosophy Help us Understand Religion? (An Institute for Philosophy and Religion lecture)

5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Speaking from the perspective of a student of western religions and their scriptures, Michael Zank will ask whether and, if so, what kind of philosophy helps us make sense of western religious beliefs and practices, or whether a philosophical approach predisposes us to distort the Abrahamic religious heritages. This question concerns not just how we study and interpret the spiritual dimensions of religion, but also how philosophy may or may not help us deal with the political dimensions of religion. He will argue that, to even begin to raise these kinds of questions, we must recognize the profound heterogeneity of philosophy and religion, their incongruity, and mutual irreducibility. Michael Zank is professor religion at Boston University where he has taught since 1994. He currently serves as the director of the EWCJS. His talk is part of this year’s Institute for Philosophy and Religion series on “Philosophy and the Future of Religion." For more information see www.bu.edu/ipr.