Melvin Konner-Believers: Faith in Human Nature

Melvin Konner

Bio

Melvin Konner, MD, is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University. He is the author of Believers, Women After All, Becoming a Doctor, and The Tangled Wing, among other books.

Sessions

Believers: Faith in Human Nature

Believers is a scientist’s answer to attacks on faith by some well-meaning scientists and philosophers. It is a firm rebuke of the “Four Horsemen”—Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens—known for writing about religion as something irrational and ultimately harmful. Anthropologist Melvin Konner, who was raised as an Orthodox Jew but has lived his adult life without such faith, explores the psychology, development, brain science, evolution, and even genetics of the varied religious impulses we experience as a species.

Introducer: Peter Brown

Peter J. Brown is a medical anthropologist and one of the founding members of the Department of Anthropology at Emory University. He also teaches in the Rollins School of Public Health. Along with over three dozen other Emory faculty members, he is a contributor to an edited volume entitled Religion as a Social Determinant of Public Health (Ellen Idler, ed). He has lived in Decatur for over forty years.


  • Marriott Conference Center A
  • Sun 5:00-5:45p Marriott A

Believers: Faith in Human Nature

Believers: Faith in Human Nature is a scientist’s answer to attacks on faith by some well-meaning scientists and philosophers. It is a firm rebuke of the “Four Horsemen”—Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens—known for writing about religion as something irrational and ultimately harmful. Anthropologist Melvin Konner, who was raised as an Orthodox Jew but has lived his adult life without such faith, explores the psychology, development, brain science, evolution, and even genetics of the varied religious impulses we experience as a species. A colorful weave of personal stories of religious—and irreligious—encounters, as well as new scientific research, Believers shows us that religion does much good as well as undoubted harm, and that for at least a large minority of humanity, the belief in things unseen neither can nor should go away.

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