Religious thinking will be the focus of World Forum at Gould Church

Roxbury — Dr. Stephen Larsen, psychology professor emeritus from SUNY Ulster, will be the guest speaker at The Engaging the World Forum on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m., in the Carriage House at the Jay Gould Memorial Reformed Church on Main Street in Roxbury. His topic “Why Do We Get Stuck in Our Religious Thinking?” will focus on some of the ideas put forth in his latest book “The Fundamentalist Mind: How Polarized Thinking Imperils Us All.”
“The human mind has an eternal tendency to simplify the exquisite complexity and ambiguity of living experience to a few set and familiar formulas,” says Dr. Larsen. “The ‘fundamentalist tendency’ of thinking is not restricted to Evangelical Christianity or radical Islam. It is found equally in the halls of science, in materialism and skepticism itself, and wherever people are fearful of the unknown.”
In his presentation, Dr. Larsen will provide a glimpse into the psychology, neurology and mythology of fundamentalism and its pervasive and destructive patterns of thought. His investigation shows that when we human beings recognize these patterns in ourselves, we can free ourselves for a hopeful conclusion: that people of good will everywhere can find themselves at home in nature, and recognize the underlying similarities in the human psyche, even those found in seemingly unfamiliar cultural forms.
While Larsen was on the faculty at Ulster from 1968-1996, he directed a program in consciousness studies and biofeedback, that gave students a hands-on opportunity to train themselves and do research on the health benefits of biofeedback.
Following the presentation there will be an opportunity for sharing thoughts and ideas. For more information, please phone Amie Brockway at 586-1689, Rev. Richard Dykstra at 607 326-7101 or e-mail