Voices of Reason: How I Survived My Religious Education

Thursday, December 3rd 2009 at 6:30 pm
Thursday, December 3rd 2009 at 8:30 pm
All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (between 79th and 80th Streets)

In this pre-Chanukah, pre-Christmas, and pre-Winter Solstice program, three authors brought up in restrictive religious traditions will discuss their journey toward atheism or liberal, inclusive forms of faith. In addition to dealing with weighty philosophical issues of losing—and changing—beliefs, this program will also deal with the more ordinary questions of how to handle relationships with beloved family members who are still devout, conservative religious believers (a challenge many of us face in the holiday season).

William Lobdell is the bestselling author of Losing My Religion: How I Lost my Faith Reporting on Religion in American—and Found Unexpected Peace . Lobdell, a former religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times, was raised as a Roman Catholic. His book was published last February by Harper Collins. “There are many great books about finding God,” a reviewer for The New York Times oberved, “But there are far fewer books, great or otherwise, about finding and losing God.” For more information, visit www.williamlobdell.com.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is the author of Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity and the forthcoming novel, Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction . Goldstein is a philosopher with a particular intrest in science, was raised in a tradition of strict orthodox Judaism and is now an atheist. In 1996, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowhship, popularly known as a “genius award. For more information, visit www.rebeccagoldstein.com.
Marilyn Mehr is the president of the board of directors for the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office. Mehr was raised as a strict Mormon, and she found a new spiritual home in the liberal Unitarian Universalist community. In a recent letter in her capacity as UU United Nations representative, Mehr congratulated President Jimmy Carter for rsigning from the Southern Baptist Convention for its right-wing views on women’s issues. “Women around the world know they have a wise leader in you, who is willing to risk a lifelong religious affiliation to stand up for the rights of  all human beings,” Mehr wrote. At a session of the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly last June, Mehr addressed her own intellectual evolution in “Lessons of A Mormon Childhood: My Journey from Temple Square to the UN Plaza.”

Co-sponsored with All Souls Unitarian Church, there will be a wine-and-canapé reception at 6:30, and the event will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow the discussion.