Adult learning: fallout from an increasingly secular society?

Today's Boston Globe had an interesting tidbit called What What Religions are Good At that I found fascinating. It talks about a new book by Alain de Botton called Religion for Atheists, in which the author argues that one doesn't have to believe in a religion to "enjoy the best bits."

One example the article talks about is how religions handle education versus how secular society does. We send people to a university for fouryears (or however many years it takes) and then think all the learning has been done. The article points out, "You don’t go to four years of church, then stop going for the rest of your life. Instead, a religious tradition asks you to think about the same questions and ideas over and over throughout your life, even providing you with daily and annual schedules for reflection.

That’s the kind of education you need, de Botton argues, if you’re going to learn the things people really care about learning..." While how to make a better widget may not be up there with death, pain, and love, a religious approach, as he describes it here, does follow a lot more closely with adult learning principles than what we usually do. Interesting to think about on this lovely Sunday afternoon.

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