Video Conversation #2: The challenges to religion posed by rationalism, atheism & science...
This is the second of our video conversations recorded in conjunction with the Blue Mountain Education & Research Trust at Our Lady of the Nativity Primary School, Lawson, NSW, on 17th November 2013. The focus of the panellists in this conversation are the challenges facing the institutional Church and traditional expressions of religion coming from what we're learning from the sciences, and the challenges posed by the neo-atheists and rationalists who reject ideas about the numinous, the spiritual or God.
Watch the video conversation here or on YouTube at:
We will publish these videoed "conversation starters" each Monday for the next six weeks with the exception of Christmas week. The first conversation today is a general introduction that helps introduce the entire series. In the following two weeks the panellists discuss in further detail some of their observations from their own research and books as to why such large numbers of people seem to have lost interest in institutionalised religion. The final three conversations, to be published after Christmas, will focus on the changing spiritual landscape. These authors would seem to share the common perception that while participation is declining interest in the spiritual or numinous side of life is very much alive. Their conversation in the final three programs focuses on how the spiritual landscape is changing in more positive ways.
Conversation #1 introduced the panellists and we repeat below further background information on this page. We have also opened up a moderated discussion at the bottom of this page you can contribute your responses to the discussion. Hopefully there will also be contributions in our own more restricted forum for registered members.
Background Information about the Facilitator & Panellists...
Credits and Thank Yous...
The Conversations were recorded at Our Lady of the Nativity Primary School at Lawson in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, on Sunday, 17th November 2013. We extend our thanks to Michael Cowley, Principal, and the staff and community at Our Lady of the Nativity Primary School for the use of their facilities.
We extend our thanks to Stephen Crittenden and the panellists: Eugene Stockton, David Tacey, Peter Todd and Kevin Treston. The books of these authors are available from Amazon, Fishpond and The Book Depository through the Catholica Spiritual Marketplace [LINK]
Producer, Director, Editor: Brian Coyne
With thanks to the Committee of the Blue Mountain Education & Research Trust: Eugene Stockton (founder), David Maguire (chair), Len Blahut, Brian Coyne, Anne Fitzgerald, Tony Griffin, Chris McGillion, Terry O'Donnell, Laurie Woods, Allan Walsh.
For assistance with catering and general assistance on the day of filming: Michael Cowley, Liz O'Callaghan, Carol & Len Blahut, Amanda McKenna, Allan Walsh.
Music by Amanda McKenna: "Breath of Creator" (composer & singer); "Theologica" (composer & performer).
People footage for opening titles sourced from Vadim I. Filimonov [youtu.be/6iuNSa4lJoA].
Original Footage from the Hubble Space Telescope [www.spacetelescope.org] sourced from David Schombert's tribute video to the space telescope: [youtu.be/Un5SEJ8MyPc].
Clip from the Al Jazeera interview with Richard Dawkins sourced from the Al Jazerra YouTube Channel: [youtu.be/U0Xn60Zw03A].
Brian Coyne, Editor 09 Dec 2013
What are your thoughts on this commentary?
"In barely more than a hundred pages, Eugene Stockton – priest, writer, archaeologist, anthropologist, contemplative – launches his readers into 'the deep within'. His range of reference is astonishing, explained only by the interests that have filled his fifty years of thinking and writing, and then further back to his childhood in the bush of the Central Blue Mountains. From the depths of his own awareness, he invites us all into the depths of "the Kingdom of God within you', of the real self of connections and relationships, too often neglected and ignored by the restless ego of routine life. Guiding the descent into the depths of the true self are a wide variety of religious, philosophical and psychological markers, 'since it is difficult to describe on the surface what is shared in depth'. One constant resource and guide is the Aboriginal experience and Eugene Stockton's long familiarity with the spirituality of the original Australians. In short, there is something both homegrown Australian and genuinely universal about this book. The depths into which this author calls us will be a wondrous refreshment for all his readers." ...Professor Anthony Kelly, Australian Catholic University