Friday Noon Study Group

April 13, 2018 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

January 24, 2020, 12-1

We began our Study Group discussion last week with a consideration of some questions posed in Rabbi David Wolpe’s Why Faith Matters:  Do each of us have “a specific call from God? . . . what is God calling [us] to do?” (p. 212).  Most of us agreed to having a “calling” (and many of those callings involved making the world a better place).  Few of us indicated that the calling came from God but rather from an inner voice, from an inclination inspired by our parents or other role models.   We then turned our attention to Chapter 3 and the question of whether religion causes violence.  We all seemed to agree that Wolpe made a cogent case for his thesis that “The majority of human conflicts in human history have controlling motivations that are not religious.”  We were a bit less certain with Wolpe’s implication that aggression was somehow built into our human nature and that religion was a powerful force for curbing human tendencies to behave selfishly or violently.

This Friday, we’ll briefly continue our discussion of the above with some attention to Professor Huston Smith’s claim the man is by nature religious.  We’ll then turn our attention to Chapter 4 of Why Faith Matters, “Does Science Disprove Religion?”  Issues brought up in the book’s Study Guide (pp. 214-215–can science co-exist with religion?  Why are some people so determined to deny the possibility that God exists?  Does believing in God help science make more sense? –will help focus our discussion.

Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1 in the CBI Library.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. Why Faith Matters is available on a variety of internet outlets.  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at

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