Pitzer Secular Studies Professor Phil Zuckerman Goes to Church to Debate Role of Religion

Phil Zuckerman

Claremont, Calif. (October 26, 2013)—Pitzer Professor of Sociology Phil Zuckerman debated the question, “Does Christianity or secular humanism provide a better foundation for civil society?” at Adventure Christian Church in Roseville, CA on October 12. Billed as The Great Debate, the event was part of the church’s speaking series titled Courageous.

Zuckerman, who created Pitzer’s secular studies program and is the author of Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion, opened his remarks by saying that the values of peace, love and forgiveness at the core of Christianity are critical for a healthy civil society. He went on to argue that the fundamental democratic concepts crucial to civil society are secular ideas found in documents such as the Bill of Rights, not Christian scriptures.

On the other side of the debate, David Marshall, founder and director of the Kuai Mu Institute for Christianity and World Cultures and author of The Truth Behind the New Atheism: Responding to the Emerging Challenges to God and Christianity, contended that Christianity and its teachings have changed the world for the better while secular humanism does not have a clear track record for building great societies or offering solutions to modern crises.

The debate was co-sponsored by Adventure Christian Church and William Jessup University.

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