The three religions of the Book each help us to differentiate the divine from the sacred. This liberating concept culminates in Paul's claim, from Ephesians, that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against leaders, against authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual wickedness in the heavens." Can religious fundamentalism be overcome only with the help of an emancipatory political theology? Philosopher Slavoj Zizek debates this and other incendiary questions on the LIVE stage.
This event is sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Paul Holdengräber is the Director of LIVE from the NYPL.
Slavoj Zizek, born 1949 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Senior Researcher at Birkbeck College, University of London, is a Hegelian Philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, Christian atheist, Communist political activist, and he thinks these four features are four aspects of one and the same Cause. His latest publications are: in philosophy The Parallax View, in psychoanalysis How to Read Lacan, in theology The Monstrosity of Christ, and in politics Living at the End Times.
Relation of human beings to God or the gods or to whatever they consider sacred or, in some cases, merely supernatural. Archaeological evidence suggests that religious beliefs have existed since the first human communities. They are generally shared by a community, and they express the communal culture and values through myth, doctrine, and ritual. Worship is probably the most basic element of religion, but moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions also constitute elements of the religious life. Religions attempt to answer basic questions intrinsic to the human condition (Why do we suffer? Why is there evil in the world? What happens to us when we die?) through the relationship to the sacred or supernatural or (e.g., in the case of Buddhism) through perception of the true nature of reality. Broadly speaking, some religions (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are outwardly focused, and others (e.g., Jainism, Buddhism) are inwardly focused.