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Studium Generale | God: a Human History - Reza Aslan, Erin Wilson

When:Tu 06-04-2021 20:00 - 21:30

The history of religion is one long and remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions, according to Reza Aslan, scholar of religions. This innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless if we are believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves. This projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for justice—but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, societies and governments. What is at the root of this humanizing impulse and how does it play a role in our everyday lives? How do we explain the urge to humanize God at the same time as we dehumanize other human beings? Could a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the history, sources and practices of diverse religious traditions help us to have a better understanding of the ideas and values that underpin our own societies today? More Information