Religion Without Doctrine

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Original Air Date: 
November 24, 2018

What's the essence of religion? God? Scripture? Moral codes? Or is it really about something more mysterious and unexplainable?

In this hour, we explore the roots of religion — religion before it's even called "religion." Because if you strip away all the doctrine, the dogma, the rules for how to live — what’s left are primal spiritual experiences. But what do they tell us about ourselves and our world?

lightning strike
Articles

Elizabeth Krohn says she left her body, went somewhere else, met and talked to God. And then came back to dream the future. What does her experience tell us about where religion comes from?

Length: 
8:26
The spiral of the edges of belief
Articles

Religious historian Jeffrey Kripal believes that anomalous experiences — near-death experiences, telepathic dreams and other primal spiritual encounters — are the deep roots of religion. You might call it "religion before it becomes religion."

Length: 
13:11
Crossing the plains of the Gnostic Gospels
Audio

The religion scholar Elaine Pagels introduced the world to the ancient Gnostic Gospels. 25 years later, she's finally ready to talk about how her own grief — after the deaths of her young son and husband — shaped her religious imagination.

Length: 
16:15
"The Tradition" book cover design by Phil Kovacevich and art by Ralphi Burgess. (Copper Canyon Press)
Articles

The poet Jericho Brown grew up in a black church in Louisiana. He left that church years ago, but his poems keep returning to worship and the Bible — and to religion.

Length: 
13:33
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Airdates
November 24, 2018
Last modified: 
November 27, 2018