For many of us, our beliefs about abstract concepts like theology remain just that, separated from our everyday life. However, new situations – like the pandemic of the past year – challenge us to assess what these distant topics really mean to us. What are the religious and secular lines we organize ourselves along – such as believer/non-believer and Democrat/Republican – and what would it take to question these?  How do social benefits and costs factor into whether we change our beliefs?

Helen de Cruz, Ph.D., is Danforth Chair in the Humanities at Saint Louis University. Her work addresses how we form beliefs in domains remote from everyday life, like mathematics, theology and science.

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Next week, on June 22 at 2PM EST, we will be speaking with Megan Powell Cuzzolino, EdD, a Sinai and Synapses Fellowship alumnus, and a researcher and educator whose primary focus is on the emotion of awe and its role in scientific learning and discovery.

 

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