The Religious Instinct | Learning In Public 24

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This show was pre-recorded in an audio-only format.


As is our intention for every Learning In Public episode,

this presents a real time dialogue, continually evolving,

as we continually respond to one another.


There was no set aim for this episode other than to give space

for some of John’s current religious questions and explorations.

We hope, as ever, that the discussion serves as an example

of genuine communication and friendship.



Approximate Time Markers of Conversation Topics:



Introduction to John’s recent personal exploration. 

Something feeling more ancient in Eastern Orthodoxy to him.



Different approaches to art in different Christian

denominations and what it communicates and engenders in the viewer.



Deeper personal motivations of why John is exploring this.

Lack of the sacred in the modern world.



Going beyond the utility of merely having religion serve as glue of social order.  

The different markers a religion must hit.



Christianity’s supposed relation to capitalism.

The religious instinct in parallel with the group instinct, feeling part of something.

Heritable characteristics of belief / religious fervor.



One religion for all?

Questions about polytheistic pantheons of gods. 

Perennialism— varying religions gleaning certain

universal truths and serving to give structure to traditional societies. 



Christianity standing apart from this perennial approach,

not having a distinction between esoteric and exoteric. 


Christianity being attacked currently. 



Forerunners and echoes of Christianity. 



Exoteric / esoteric. 

difference between initiation (hidden knowledge passed on)

and the Christian “mysteries.”




Please see the growing collection of Learning in Public episodes and clips here.

~John’s Website~

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