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WTF: Who to Follow?

Tom-KrattenmakerCan a nonreligious person follow Jesus? Muhammad? Buddha? What about Gandhi… or Darwin? In the pantheon of great thinkers, prophets, writers, scientists, artists, and leaders, to whom do you turn for inspiration, motivation, meaning, and ethical guidance? How do you implement their lessons in your life? Do you follow their examples?

The Yale Humanist Community invites you to join WTF (Who to Follow?), a discussion group exploring these matters. We also unpack other issues related to the idea of “following,” like the things we “follow” unconsciously such as consumerism and pursuit of status, the differences between worshiping, following, and being influenced, and how to follow while maintaining your critical thinking. These discussions are hosted at Humanist Haven on the first Sunday of each month at 1 PM and led by Tom Krattenmaker, a religion-in-public-life columnist for USA Today, Communications Director at Yale Divinity School, and self-described secular progressive.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Tom:

    “Secular Jesus Follower” is an important concept which possibly moves the bearer of that classification into natural theology. “Natural theology though not salvific speaks to regeneration (which we all might experience if we are exploring and deciding ultimate matters) and is also a window into the search for regeneration alternatives (in the implementation of these life lesson decisions).” Martin Heidegger

    Heidegger’s notion provides for those not yet regenerate ( in Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Gandhi, Darwin et al) but searching in Nature for the Ultimate Being (Tillich) to be allowed after exploration, the capability of sensing their UB.

    My own humbling experience in promoting these kinds of discussions came when I was in India in 1961 (Project India in cooperation with the USIA) meeting with some of Gandhi’s disciples about their views as to natural theology, regeneration alternatives, God et al. After a lively discussion, and a time of silence came, one of the disciples gave me the Mahatma’s view on this subject (which I latter learned he considered such discussions a waste of time): “God comes to my people in the form of food . . .” No more needed to be said or discussed.

    Good Luck with your new job and new group, miss our discussions, and continue to enjoy your columns.

    Best Regards, Don

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