London Thinks has gathered experts in psychology, religion and cults to explore the idea of belief. Why do we believe the things we do? Are we genetically programmed to believe in the supernatural, or is belief socially imposed upon us from a young age? Were Abrahamic religious texts always considered to be the word of God or is religious literalism a modern invention? Samira Ahmed chairs as our panelists discuss these ideas and more in our first London Thinks of 2016.
The country is going through a massive change in its religion and belief landscape. Yes, there has been an overall decline in religiosity, but that masks important changes in the mix among the religious, as well as complexity among the non-religious. Does it help to think about three dimensions – belief, behaviour and belonging – rather than simply “religion and belief”? Jeremy looks at the evidence from polling and other sources, and highlights the dangers of generalisations. How can thinking people respond to this dynamic environment?