JCU Interfaith Initiative Welcomes Dr. Anthony Carroll for Discussion on Religious Secular Dialogue

Dr. Anthony Carroll

Dr. Anthony Carroll

On Thursday, November 5th the JCU Interfaith Initiative welcomed Dr. Anthony Carroll, a Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Heythrop College at the University of London. Dr. Carroll spoke on “Atheist Secular Dialogue” as part of the Interfaith Initiative’s ongoing International Interfaith Scholar lecture series cosponsored by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.

The lecture began with an introduction by Professor Michael Driessen welcoming Professor Carroll and describing the importance of religious secular dialogue today.

Professor Carroll first spoke on the current religious landscape in the West in the context of growing pluralism and skepticism. He argued that current conceptions of religion and God are not adequate for our Post-Christian, secular age. Drawing on some of his works such as “Dialogue with Skeptics”, he spoke about the complexities of religious secular dialogue and argued that the convergence of secular and religious dialogue often avoids questions of meaning and truth.

In the latter part of his lecture, Carroll focused on the approaches and implications of religious secular dialogue. He stressed the need for common ground, emphasizing the idea of ‘Panentheistic Humanism” and how articulating the human experience of God might represent a way to achieve greater depth of dialogue.

Following the lecture, questions were opened to the audience, which was comprised of both JCU students and guests from surrounding religious and interfaith institutions. Professor Tom Bailey moderated the questions and discussion, which focused on what type of common language both secular and religious individuals can use to approach questions of meaning and truth and the outcomes of this type of dialogue.