Religious/Spiritual

Sort by: title, date.

Aren't We Better Off Without Christianity?
Jan/20 Thu 07:30PM–09:00PM

40 years ago, sociologists believed that as the world became more modern, more educated, and more scientific, religious belief would naturally decline. Many western intellectuals thought this was both inevitable and desirable: religion would not survive in the modern world, and we modern people would be better off without it. Doesn't Christianity hinder our pursuits of modern values? What is our reality today? Is Christianity positive or negative for individuals and society? And what shapes how we determine what makes us “better off”?

Dr. REBECCA McLAUGHLIN, Ph.D. in English literature from Cambridge University, Theology degree from Oak Hill College in London. Speaker, Writer, and author of Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion. Find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccamclaughlin.org.

Book Discussion: The Territories of Science and Religion
Jan/04 Tue 03:00PM–04:30PM
Jan/11 Tue 03:00PM–04:30PM
Jan/18 Tue 03:00PM–04:30PM
Jan/25 Tue 03:00PM–04:30PM

Are science and religion inherently opposed?  Have they always been?  Not necessarily, argues distinguished scholar Peter Harrison in The Territories of Science and Religion.  He demonstrates that the concepts of science and religion, as we understand them, are relatively recent, and that the boundaries between them have historically been dynamic and even permeable.  Come join fellow members of the MIT community to read and discuss Harrison’s book and examine how very different approaches to reality have related to and mutually enriched each other, and how they may do so again.

Hypocrisy: If Jesus Christ is so Good, Why is the Church so Bad?
Jan/18 Tue 07:30PM–09:00PM

In a recent survey at MIT, students were asked, “For you, what makes Christianity or God's existence difficult for you to believe?” The most picked answer was the hypocrisy they see in those who identify as Christian and the Church. There is no arguing that hypocrisy exists among Christians and the Church. Hypocrisy is a massive deterrent for people no matter who it comes from. If Christianity is supposed to make people better, then why associate with something that doesn’t really seem to work? Why accept it as true? How can it be worth considering when it seems like Christians don’t even follow its teachings?

LOU PHILLIPS, Traveling speaker with the Lighten Group, Theological studies at the OXFORD CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS

IAP - Yoga Sutras 101
Jan/17 Mon 11:00AM–12:00PM

Yoga Sutras 101 introduces fundamental concepts of yoga principles. This is an introductory workshop is based on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. This practical class presents the fundamental concepts of yoga, the various yoga paths, and practical insights on how to practice yoga. This workshop would also highlight some of the misconceptions of modern yoga systems and how to avoid common pitfalls in practicing yoga. 

Students will be able to learn simple, practical, and effective yoga techniques which can be applied in one's daily living. Join us to deepen your yoga practice and lead a life of joy, peace, and good health. This workshop is offered by the Vaishnava Hindu Chaplain at MIT, Sadananda Dasa, who has been a yoga practitioner for more than a decade.  

When: 11 am, Monday, Jan 17, 2022

RSVP: tinyurl.com/mityogasutras

Isn't Religion Just a Psychological Delusion - Just Wishful Thinking to Comfort People?
Jan/27 Thu 07:30PM–09:00PM

Many today would say they do not want to believe in God, but that those who do are driven to do so as a kind of wish fulfillment.  This “You wish” argument against belief in God goes back to Voltaire, Diderot, Darwin, and Feuerbach.  And it was most popularized and sharpened by Freud. Freud referred to religion as “the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity,” and claimed that the spiritual worldview “distorts the picture of the real world in a delusional manner.” Dr. Brandon Unruh will help us examine these claims and critiques from his own lived experience and his professional experience as a clinician.

DR. BRANDON UNRUH, M.D - Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and clinician at McLean Hospital

Labyrinth Lab IAP: Labyrinths and Wellness
Jan/24 Mon 03:00PM–04:00PM

A labyrinth is an ancient tool for stress reduction, wellness, and centering. In this workshop, learn about different ways labyrinths can be used to enhance your health. 

Labyrinth Lab IAP: The Labyrinth's History and Geometry
Jan/10 Mon 03:00PM–04:00PM

A labyrinth is an ancient tool for stress reduction, wellness, and centering. In this workshop, learn about the history of this tool, and what's so special about its geometric elements.

No Self, No Problem: A Zen Conversation
Jan/24 Mon 08:00PM–09:00PM

Rev. Takafumi Kawakami, Vice-Abbot, Shunkou-in, Kyoto, Japan.

Reconstructing Religion: Can Religious Faith Contribute to the Public Good? Should it have a Place in the Public Square?
Jan/25 Tue 07:30PM–09:00PM

How did the church get to the point where Christianity as a tradition and Christians, in particular, are often looked at with derision and as an anchor around the neck of society rather than a cool breeze blowing into its sails? Is there a way to imagine religion (specifically Christianity) that promotes human flourishing and strengthens our Democratic Tradition? Is there a place for the faith in the public square and what contributions can it make, if any? Or is it no longer needed?

Dr. Ron Sanders - Affiliate Assistant Professor in Ethics. He holds a Ph.D. in Theology and Christian Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Biola University.

Science and Faith - friends of foes? (Part 2) - Can a Scientist Believe in the Miracles of Jesus?
Jan/13 Thu 07:30PM–09:00PM

How do we reconcile miracles with our modern, scientific understanding of nature? Is it reasonable for any thinking person to accept them as true? Do the miraculous claims of Christianity, like the miracles of Jesus, hold up under scrutiny, and what do they mean for us?

DR. TOM RUDELIUS - Postdoctoral researcher in theoretical physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in physics, mathematics, and statistical science from Cornell University.

Science and Faith - friends or foes? (Part 1) - Is there Evidence for God in the Universe? Do the Laws of Nature Point to God or lead us away from the idea of a God?
Jan/11 Tue 07:30PM–09:00PM

Many people have difficulty reconciling modern science with the Christian faith(as well as other faith traditions) - especially the Biblical account of cosmology and the origins of the universe. The fundamental laws of nature in our universe appear to be "fine-tuned" to allow for intelligent life. In this talk, we'll dive into modern scientific discovery and explore possible explanations for this phenomenon and speculate on the possible role of a designer.

DR. TOM RUDELIUS - Postdoctoral researcher in theoretical physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in physics, mathematics, and statistical science from Cornell University.

UNBOXING RELIGION: Christian History: A Quick Trip Through 2,000 Years
Jan/25 Tue 02:00PM–03:00PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

Christian History: A Quick Trip Through 2,000 Years

Fr. Michael Medas (Catholic Chaplain), Pastor Andrew Heisen (Lutheran Chaplain) and Deacon James Wilcox (Saint Mary Orthodox Church, Cambridge)

Registration Link

UNBOXING RELIGION: Jews and Judaism 101
Jan/26 Wed 12:00PM–01:00PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

 

Jews and Judaism 101

Rabbi Menachem Altein (Jewish Chaplain, Chabad)

Registration Link

UNBOXING RELIGION: The Bahá’í Faith
Jan/27 Thu 07:00PM–08:30PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

The Bahá’í Faith

Brian Aull (Bahá’í Chaplain)

Registration Link

UNBOXING RELIGION: Understanding Hinduism
Jan/28 Fri 02:00PM–03:00PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

Understanding Hinduism

Swami Tyagananda (Hindu Chaplain)

Registration Link

UNBOXING RELIGION: Understanding Islam and Muslims
Jan/26 Wed 04:00PM–05:30PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

Understanding Islam and Muslims

Sister Nada El-Alami (Muslim Chaplain)

Registration Link

(also offered: Thurs. 1/13 12:00-1:30 and Tues. 1/18 2:00-3:30)

Understanding Islam and Muslims
Jan/13 Thu 12:00PM–01:30PM

Islam is frequently talked about in the media, but continues to be a mystery to most people. What is the Muslim's concept of God? The afterlife? Who was prophet Muhammad? What do Muslims say about Abraham, Moses, and Jesus? What are the core beliefs and practices of Islam? This session offers an opportunity to get to know our Muslim students a little bit better, see beyond common misconceptions, and learn from Muslims about their fourteen-century old faith, professed by 1.8 billion people worldwide. This is a 90 minute interactive workshop with participation from students and time allotted for Q&A. 

Understanding Islam and Muslims
Jan/13 Thu 12:00PM–01:30PM
Jan/18 Tue 02:00PM–03:30PM
Jan/26 Wed 04:00PM–05:30PM

Islam is frequently talked about in the media, but continues to be a mystery to most people. What is the Muslim's concept of God? The afterlife? Who was prophet Muhammad? What do Muslims say about Abraham, Moses, and Jesus? What are the core beliefs and practices of Islam? This session offers an opportunity to get to know our Muslim students a little bit better, see beyond common misconceptions, and learn from Muslims about their fourteen-century old faith, professed by 1.8 billion people worldwide. This is a 90 minute interactive workshop with participation from students and time allotted for Q&A.