Ideas

After Atheism: New Perspectives on God and Religion, Part 4

Public discussion of religion tends to polarize between two extremes: religious fundamentalism, and the aggressive atheism of such writers as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. But much of what people actually believe falls somewhere in between. It is subtler and more tentative. David Cayley explores the work of five thinkers whose books have charted new paths for religion. Part...
James Carse

Public discussion of religion tends to polarize between two extremes: religious fundamentalism, and the aggressive atheism of such writers as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. But much of what people actually believe falls somewhere in between. It is subtler and more tentative. David Cayley explores the work of five thinkers whose books have charted new paths for religion. Part 4: James Carse.


James Carse is the author of a book called The Religious Case Against Belief. In it, he turns a lot of widely accepted ideas on their heads.  Belief usually defines religion, as any dictionary would show.  Carse argues that belief is often the enemy of religion.  Beliefs, he says, come and go, but religions persist.  Some have a lot of beliefs, some almost none, but even those with a lot preserve their identities even when those beliefs change.  James Carse is a scholar of the History and Literature of Religion which he taught for many years at New York University.  In this episode he shares his thoughts on the nature of belief and the nature of religion.

The Religious Case Against Belief by James Carse is published by Penguin Press.


Listen to other episodes in the series:

 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now