How We Talk about Religion Matters

Religion Scholars Team up with the Public to State the Problem Plainly

Press Release | March 2, 2015

It matters how we talk about religion. It shapes the way we understand pressing social problems from terrorism to gay marriage to end-of-life choices. A change in the way we talk about religion can lead to unexpected breakthroughs—good and bad. On March 18–21, 2015, experts in religion, philosophy, and theology, from across North America, will meet with interested members of the public to address misunderstandings about religion created by modern and ancient rhetoric. This national meeting of the Westar Institute—titled “Tales of Power, Tales of Sorrow: Critical Questions about Religious Rhetoric”—will convene at the Flamingo Resort Hotel, 2777 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, California. All events are open to the public.

Read the full release


New Book by Bernard Brandon Scott

The Real PaulThe Real Paul
Recovering His Radical Voice

“… An engaging all-out attack on the Augustinian-Lutheran reading of Paul and his letters. The Real Paul gives new interpretations to what it meant for Paul to be called as the apostle to the Gentiles and takes Paul’s claims seriously …” —Stanley K. Stowers, Brown University
» Read more


Save the Date! Fall 2015 Meeting

The Fall 2015 Meeting will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Hyatt Regency in conjunction with the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Friday, November 20th, through Tuesday, November 24th. Program details are coming soon!


Marcus Borg: In Memoriam

Learn more about Marcus BorgDear Westar Community,

It is with sadness that we received the news of Marcus Borg’s death on January 21. Marcus Borg was a major contributor to the work of the Jesus Seminar in its seminal period. In his career, he modeled the ideal of a Westar Fellow. Marcus ably bridged the gap between the academic guild and the general public. His books are cherished by Westar associates for their clarity and honesty. We at Westar will miss him terribly. Our sympathies go out to his family. » Read more


New Book by Don Cupitt

Creative Faith: Religion as a Way of Worldmaking (Cupitt, sm)

Creative Faith
Religion as a Way of Worldmaking

At some point very early on in its development, Christianity split between two different pathways: one path stayed with the teaching of Jesus and the primacy of ethics, the other started with the return of Jesus and, therefore, with supernatural belief. Today, ethics has been largely sidelined, viewed as secondary or subservient to belief. Don Cupitt argues that the time has come for that to change. » Read more


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