Vichaar Manthan aims to explore the narratives that societies tell themselves and each other. These stories embody, legitimise and contextualise the knowledge and experiences of a society. They order a collective memory. The most powerful stories shape our behaviour and in turn influence institutions to react to the world in equal stead.
At the Sustainable Narratives 2020 conference, we explored the most prevailing and long-lasting stories about religion. Are religions truly peaceful or are they by nature designed to ‘other’ the outsider causing conflict in all spheres – from the personal, to the social, and political? Do scientific discoveries about the universe nullify the need for religious belief, or can science itself become dogma of a different kind? What are the possibilities of humanity transplanting itself beyond institutionalised religions to a new form of enlightened spirituality? How much longer can religions claim a monopoly on humankind's pursuit for meaning and truth? We put narratives surrounding religion in the dock and cross-examined them in the light of sustainability.
Our panel of expert witnesses from around the world came together and explored sustainable narratives on religion.