RELIGION: Where It Came From, Where It’s Heading, and How It Continues to Change the World

RELIGION: Where It Came From, Where It’s Heading, and How It Continues to Change the World

Michael Spath, DMin, PhD

This interactive three-part series explores faith, spirituality and religion – their origins, how they shape and were shaped by the environment, the development of the brain and human social patterns. Why is this important for our faith today as we continue to search for meaning and understanding of our place in the universe?

April 13, 2023 – Religion Before Adam and Eve. Between 50,000-10,000 years ago, Europe experienced an “Upper Paleolithic explosion,” the presence of religious thinking in human burial sites, cave art, and figurines. What do these primitive signs of religion tell us about what our earliest ancestors believed? What are the unconscious and conscious implications for us as people of faith today?

April 20, 2023 – The Creation of Modern Religion: Where Our Faith and Values Were Born. Between 800-200 B.C.E., modern religion was born throughout Greece, India, China, Persia and the Levant, a period scholars call the “Axial Age.” There was a revolution in human thought – a shift toward transcendence, contemplation of humanity’s place in the universe, and understanding of meaning, morality, and mortality.

April 27, 2023 – Religion Present & Future and What It Means to be Human. Is humanity on the verge of a second “Axial Age?” Because of globalism, rapid technological advancements, Artificial Intelligence, and more, we as a species are beginning to take control of our own evolution (homo evolutis). How are these developments changing us, and what are the moral implications of such advancements for our faith?

All sessions will be held from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in Jennings Auditorium, Greencroft Goshen Community Center, 1820 Greencroft Blvd., Goshen, Indiana 46527.

Michael Spath is the founder and executive director of the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace. He holds a PhD in Historical Theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree in New Testament.

In addition to support from Chautauqua Wawasee, other participating organizations are the College Mennonite Church, Assembly Mennonite Church, Eighth Street Mennonite Church, Goshen College Campus Ministries, and the Greencroft Chaplaincy.