Is Religion Rational?

Does religion make sense? Depending on your disposition, this might be the least, or most, important question to ask about religious life in the contemporary age. As with many vulnerable areas of our faith, our attitude towards this question is a story in its own right. This month, we explore the question of rationalism and religion, as we wonder if religion can or should make sense, as well as what the collective set of beliefs that we have around this question might tell us about the story of religion in contemporary society.

Rationalism: Our Central Questions

1. Religion and Rationalism: Can, or should, we think of religion as rational?

2. Before and After Rationalism: What motivates religious life in a world before and after rationalist inquiry?

3. Philosophy and the Torah: What is the relationship between philosophical systems and the Torah?


In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to an anonymous guest about the anxieties he experienced in a hyper rational approach to Judaism.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to author Shmuel Phillips about the upsides and downsides of approaching Judaism rationally.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to Samuel Lebens - philosophy professor and author - about the interaction of Judaism with analytic philosophy and mysticism.




Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

This is the kind of book that wins all awards known to humanity, and yet somehow is enjoyed by the lay reader time and time again. In this major hit, Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winning psychologist and economist, brings readers into the systems of the mind. Kahneman paints a picture of a mind composed of two systems of thinking, System 1 and System 2, as he refers to them. In breathtaking clarity, Kahneman explores how the faults, flaws, and strengths of our intuitions and cognitive decision making rest in the marriage between these two systems. In Thinking Fast and Slow, Kahneman also offers us a way out, as he enjoins readers to think more about the way we think, and how we might think better.