The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Community Event
Speaker:
Dan Dennett and Michael Gazzaniga

What does it mean to struggle with the idea that there is no God when your life has been devoted to preaching that there is? This is the quandary clergy find themselves in when they go from believer to atheist while they are on the job. Marin Gazzaniga’s play — based on interviews of clergy by Linda LaScola for a Tufts University study she conducted with Daniel C. Dennett — explores the mental anguish and struggles of seven clergy, interviewed privately in hotel rooms around the country, as they reveal personal feelings they’ve never shared. The audience is led on an intimate psychological journey as these individuals struggle with a taboo subject: what’s at stake if you publicly say you don’t believe in God. In hearing their stories, we are challenged to re-examine deeply help assumptions about religion and belief. 

In this special event, part of SFI’s 2017 Community Lecture Series, actors will present select scenes from Gazzaniga’s play, followed by discussion with cognitive scientist and philosopher Dennett (an SFI external professor) and Michael S. Gazzaniga, a cognitive neuroscientist (and the playwright’s father), about what brain-mind mechanisms might be at work in religious belief — and the implications for individuals and society. 

The performance will feature actors Sabina Dunn, Charles Gamble,  Campbell Martin, Hania Stocker, and Elizabeth Wiseman.

President's Circle members are offered reserved, front-row seating. Please reserve your general admission tickets and look for signs at the venue. Not yet a President's Circle member? Learn more or join now.

Generous underwriting from Thornburg Investment Management, with additional support from The Lensic Performing Arts Center, makes this series possible.

Tickets for this event are free, but seating is limited and ticket reservations are required.

Reserve your tickets here.