Gordon M. Burghardt, Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychology and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, will speak on “Religion in Human Evolution” on Wednesday, September 12, in Oak Ridge.
Burghardt is the first lecturer in a new faith-science lecture series sponsored by First Presbyterian Church and First United Methodist Church, a press release said. The lecture, which will feature videos, will be held at 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room of FUMC, which can be reached through the double doors facing Vienna Road.
Burghardt will speak on the book “Religion in Human Evolution,” by Robert Bellah, the late distinguished sociologist of religion who taught at the University of California at Berkeley, the press release said.
Part of Bellah’s book is devoted to Burghardt’s research on ritual and play.
“My talk will be based on an invited presentation given in Poland at the 6th International Kraków Study of Religions Symposium,” Burghardt said in the press release. “I will present the basic ideas that the late Robert Bellah, the noted sociologist and religion scholar, developed in his book of the same title, on the early history of religion. The talk will especially expand on one of the phenomena Bellah considered key to the origins of religion—play.”
In one book review, Peter Manseau writes, “‘Religion in Human Evolution’ is not like so many other ‘science and religion’ books, which tend to explain away belief as a smudge on a brain scan or an accident of early hominid social organization. It is, instead, a bold attempt to understand religion as part of the biggest big picture—life, the universe, and everything.”
Burghardt, who has a doctorate in biopsychology from the University of Chicago, is past editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, past president of the Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology (Division 6, American Psychological Association) and past president of the Animal Behavior Society. He has taught courses in psychology of religion at UT.
There will be refreshments after the lecture.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release and photo were submitted by Carolyn H. Krause.
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