How to Define “Religion”?

I would define religion in a polythetic, Wittgensteinian, family-resemblance kind of way.  Let me unpack that a little… There are several ways to define things:  there’s the “essentialist” way that specifies the characteristics that are both necessary and sufficient.  For example, bachelors are unmarried men.  All unmarried men are bachelors, …

Book Recommendation – The Righteous Mind

I just  finished this excellent book. One of the best and most enlightening and relevant books I have ever read.  Highly recommended. Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion: “This book explained why people are divided by politics and religion. The answer is not, as Manichaeans would have it, because some …

Islam and Religious Literacy

How do you know what you know about Islam?  Do you “know” that Islam hates Americans because President Trump or ISIS says so?  Do you “know” that Islam is peace because George W. Bush says so?  Do you “know” that Islam seeks to kill blaspheming novelists because Ayatollah Khomeini says …

“Which Islam?”

Islamophobia is widespread. Although other religions, eg, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, have been feared, Islam in particular seems more extensively feared today, especially following 9/11, as evidenced in Google: “Islamophobia” returns 5,760,000 million results, >100 times more than “Christianophobia” (46,100), “Hinduphobia” (18,600), and even “Judeophobia” (58,400). Other religious and cultural traditions …