Religion Panel - Do We Need a Humanist Reformation?
Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2008/03/06/Is_Religion_Still_the_Opium_of_the_Masses Institute of Ideas Research and Editorial Director Dolan Cummings argues that mainstream secularists must first re-assess their own beliefs if they wish to challenge radical religion. ----- Panelists Rashad Ali, Andrew Scott, Fariborz Pooya, and Dolan Cummings discuss religion and radicalism. Alex Hochuli moderates the event. We're told that religion today is radical. Islamic extremists, evangelical fundamentalists, Catholic militants - the threat that faith poses to secular society is an aggressive, assertive and vehement one. But historically, the faithful were slated by humanists for their conservatism - where religion went wrong was its opposition to change, not its advocacy of it. So are the religious now radical - or has secular society simply taken on the conservatism of its God-fearing forebears? Dolan Cummings is research and editorial director at the IoI. He edits the IoI's reviews website, Culture Wars and is a co-convener of the yearly Battle of Ideas festival, next taking place in London in October 2007. Dolan's interests lie in the relationship between ideas and politics, the role of the intellectual, ideology, and religion in public life. He is especially interested in the question of intellectual authority and how it is contested. Dolan firmly believes that politics should start from the needs and passions of the public, and that this puts a premium on open debate and free speech. Most recently he has edited a collection of essays, Debating Humanism by contributors to the Battle of Ideas 2005.
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