Phoenix Question: What positive role can religion/spirituality play in today’s society?

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Shelby: I think religion and spirituality can speak volumes about one’s personal story. By reflecting on one’s own outlook, one can understand their deepest passions, fears, and desires. By seeking to understand the religious/spiritual orientation of another person, one can determine shared values upon which to form mutually inspiring relationships.

Jay: Religion seems to provide various core beliefs and values that create structured lifestyles. I do question if this same structure narrows perspective, polarizing individuals and society. But, if used as a base for personal growth and not as an absolute, religions do have good intentions and can create positive change, particularly when working with communities toward identified needs, or when focused on personal growth and development.

Jeffrey: To play a positive role in today’s society religion must first let go of the overwhelming desire to be right. Faith is as much about living the questions as it is about having the answers.

  • Mat: Cool perspective. How do you think we can help change that paradigm? I feel like accepting religion as possibly fallible would calls into question why so many people are drawn to religion. Looking forward to the growing conversation! 
  • Mat: I call myself Jewish not because of the moral teachings the religion offers, but the community that it provides. I believe religion and spirituality are a reminder as humans we feel most alive when connected to each other and to a greater purpose.

Diana: I think religion and spirituality can play a positive role in society through pushing us to questions the world around us, to question what we were taught growing up, and to question ourselves. Also, to learn to question and move forward without the need for an answer. With the increasing necessity to find ways for religions and faith traditions to interact productively, questions without judgement are vital.

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