Past Meetup

NPR's Barbara B. Hagerty on Faith, Science & Questions: A Conversation

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Looking for new ways to explore and synthesize faith, science, questions and doubt? Could it be a positive thing for someone to just admit he or she embraces "belief" and "doubt" at the same time? And what role do new scientific discoveries play in this important conversation among faith, questions, and doubt?

We are excited to host a conversation on faith, questions, and science on this topic with NPR’s Barbara Bradley Hagerty and psychiatrist/author Curt Thompson, M.D. They approach this topic from their common positions of being both accomplished science writers and people of faith. We did not tell them what to say about faith, we only asked them to be honest. One of the biggest sources of challenge, doubt, and excitement in our faith comes from the world of science, so this particular perspective on doubt requires thinkers like Hagerty and Thompson. They will be signing copies of their respective books on faith and science too.

Grab a beer, and hear what both authors have to say about these questions:
1. What turning points in your personal lives motivated you to write your respective books? How did you come to be interested in the intersection of faith and science discussions? How have you wrestled with the topics of faith and doubt as you dived into these discussions?
2. After your respective investigations, how do you approach or react to materialist explanations of human life put forward by many scientists? Similarly, what is your take on new findings that suggest we are hard-wired to be spiritual?
3. After your respective investigations, how do you think about the issue of freewill? Are we born free to choose good or evil?
4. What’s the best advice you can give someone seeking to understand how science intersects with their faith?

About our Conversation Partners: Seeking to understand the source of her own faith and spiritual experiences, Barbara Bradley Hagerty of National Public Radio (NPR) spent years investigating the emerging “science of spirituality” that’s taking place in research labs and universities across the country. The result of those investigations was her New York Times best seller, Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality. In her book, she reports that scientists are now asking the kinds of questions once only asked by philosophers and theologians, such as: what is spirituality?; how do our brains access alternative “spiritual states?;” why are some people more spiritual than others?, and is there a God gene? She continues to interview scientists on the topic of freewill.

Curt Thompson, M.D. is a local psychiatrist whose influence is taking off among churches looking for a new path forward in the science and faith discussion. He's the author of Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising connections between neuroscience and spiritual practices that can transform your life and relationships (Salt River, 2010). Besides being a practicing psychiatrist and popular speaker, he is serving as an informal adviser to our spiritual practices group as we seek to incorporate the insights of science into our meditation practice.

Hope you can make this exciting conversation!

Best, Glenn

More about Logistics:

About Eating and Drinking:
Busboys does not charge a lot for book signing events because they sometimes make some money off of food and drink sales. Please consider ordering something from the wait staff when the event starts to help support our use of the room. Thanks a bunch!

About Donations: While all our events are free, we welcome any donations you might wish to give to help support our venue rental. Suggested donation is $2. If you would like to contribute more for those who can't make a donation, that's great too. We'll have a jar near the exit door for folks to discreetly drop in their donation. Thanks for your support!

About Parking:
Parking is available after 6PM at the Reeves Government Center for $10 - the entrance to the parking is on U Street between 14th and 15th. Street parking is also available - best times for street parking is early in the evening on 14th Street or V Street - it is free after 6:30PM and on Weekends all day.

About the nearest Metro connection:
Busboys is 2 blocks from the Metro Green Line - U Street Cardozo stop