Materialism dominates the intellectual culture of the West.  In a survey of academic philosophers 85% identified as atheists.  In Europe established religion has been in decline for a century,  even in the States attendance is falling.  Yet globally religion remains a potent force, and predictions of its demise  have not materialised.  Amongst those who have abandoned established religion new forms of spirituality, such as mindfulness and yoga are on the rise.
Does religion, in all its many forms, provide a psychological support for humans that makes it essential - without which there is only the void?  Is there something about being itself that is ineffable and which can never be eradicated?   Or Is the persistence of religion an extended but ultimately temporary phenomenon that will be replaced by the success of science? 

Firebrand philosopher Slavoj Zizek, author of Ways to Go Beyond and The Science Delusion Rupert Sheldrake and historian and author of American Nietzsche Jennifer Ratner Rosenhagen debate meaning in a secular age.

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