Fall 2010 Voltaire's Coffee: Professor Domjan
Mon, August 23, 2010 • 7:00 PM • Joynes Room, Carothers (CRD) 007, 2501 Whitis Ave. Enter through the east doors of the honors quad
In Praise of Doubt: How to have Convictions without becoming a Fanatic by Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld, led by Dr. Wendy Domjan, Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology
Monday, August 23, 2010
About the book:
Modernity was supposed to usher in a rational secular world where religion was marginalized or might even disappear. But not only has religion survived, it is growing and thriving, producing a world in which diverse groups with highly disparate beliefs and agendas must find a way to co-exist. In our society, we have been fortunate that this has largely occurred under conditions of relative civic peace and social interaction. However, major issues exist, which cannot be easily resolved and pose potential questions for us with potentially grave consequences. How do we handle moral issues, such as abortion or homosexuality, when different groups have strongly held but opposing viewpoints? How does our culture maintain its emphasis on individual freedom when confronted with the challenge of an aggressive fundamentalism? Sociologists Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld argue that the answer is constructive doubt. By this, they don’t mean the disabling doubt of relativism, where all options are valid and choices are grounded only in individual preferences. Rather, they argue for a virtuous use of doubt that allows us to maintain strong moral convictions without castin everyone who disagrees with us as obviously and inherently wrong.
About the professor:
Wendy Domjan has a Ph.D. in psychology from The University of Wisconsin, with specialties in perception and cognition, and currently has a major focus on psychology of religion and psychology of religious fundamentalism.