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Camden Philosophical Society Meeting
Tuesday, December 21, 2021 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
At the Camden Philosophical Society’s next regularly scheduled meeting, on Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 4 pm, we will be discussing in further depth Peter Berger’s 1967 classic “The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion.” Jory Squibb will lead the discussion, and an introduction to the topic by him appears below.
The Society will continue for another month to hold our discussion primarily online, via Zoom. All are welcome to participate. Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com if you wish to attend via Zoom. You will then receive an invitation on the morning of the meeting. Click on the “Join Zoom Meeting” link in that invitation at the time of the event.
We are holding off shifting to a more hybrid format, with an in-person contingent at the library, in large part because the Camden Public Library looks set to buy some new technology, known as Meeting Owl, that should make hybrid gatherings — Zoom plus in-person — much user-friendlier for those on Zoom and easier for those setting up the meeting. We are hoping and expecting that will be available by our January meeting date, and so will hold off until then.
Jory has provided the following introduction to our December topic:
We’ve lost quite a few of you over the pandemic, but I hope you’ll zoom in to our December gathering, before we go hybrid in January.
This month we’ll dig deeper into Peter Berger’s “The Sacred Canopy.” I’ve been finding it to be a helpful map of human behavior, as I face many of the confusions and sorrows of these despairing days. You may remember we read chapter 1 last month, but don’t worry if you weren’t there. Your homework has three jobs, all optional:
1. Search your present life and find a particular place where it pinches right now. What social interaction is especially baffling and painful. (e.g. “my lovely little sister, a born-again christian, anti-vaccination person: we can’t talk. can’t hug. can’t find common ground. it’s like she’s a ghost. our lives, even as we do talk, can’t find a juicy human connection” What’s under the surface of this?) I hope, towards the end of the meeting, you’ll share your own quandary and possibly a Berger-inspired deeper understanding.
Read or re-read Chapter 1. “Religion and World Construction.” Read it from the central point of view of paragraphs 22-24, that is, that the dynamics talked about are dialectics not entities; a seamless inseparable whole, which we break into pieces only to ease our analytic brains. Remember our past gatherings on Existentialism and Whitehead’s process philosophy. If you’re getting bleary stop about paragraph 27. Notice his definition of ‘sacred.’ Could this include philosophy or science?
Sample Chapter 2. “Legitimation.” very helpful. Maybe the first 10 paragraphs. Go on if inspired
Then skip to Chapter 4. “Religion and Alienation.” Notice especially paragraphs 2,3, maybe 5,6. Alienation is the loss of dialectic. Maybe end about paragraph 22
Then lighten up and watch
This physiology opens up other discussions, I know, but I want to include it, since our goal-happiness, peace of mind, compassion– cannot perhaps be realized in a left-brain context. Our human equipment involves a parallel and a series processor, each ready to tackle sensory input in different but survival-necessary ways. How can we empower both?
So….that’s it….don’t get bogged down….just take a break from the Christmas season, and think and yakk with us if you can….this stuff is not just entertainment…deeper understanding changes us….jory