Saturday, August 1, 2009

In Production: Robert Wright and The Evolution of God

Yesterday, I had the privilege of interviewing Robert Wright, the author of The Evolution of God. His book chronicles human perceptions of God since the hunter-gatherer era and the role religion has played in the development of society. Perhaps more importantly, he raises the question of what role religion and belief should play in civilization.

Raised Southern Baptist, Robert Wright now describes himself as agnostic, grounded in materialism and natural selection. However, he also sees evidence of a larger purpose unfolding, given the direction of evolution and human history. One of the challenging questions he poses is whether belief in God is the cause of this increasing moral order or an effect of evolution.

While Robert Wright is not a Unitarian Universalist, I find that his views align with our open-ended approach to religion. To wit,
  • Religion must continue to evolve as our knowledge and experience expand, and
  • Religion should be a positive force for love and justice in the world.
The interview will be online by next Sunday, August 9. I hope you will listen, as well as getting a copy of this fascinating book.

I sincerely appreciate Bob's willingness to speak with me, especially while he was on vacation.

Update, August 2: Read a review of The Evolution of God, written by Stephen Prothero, a religious studies professor at Boston University, and published by The Washington Post.

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