Upcoming events (click on event name to register)

06 Apr 2018 5:30 PM • Hoag Auditorium Dahlonega, GA


Over the last several years a number of independent book clubs in North Georgia have been reading books that explore various aspects of our religious heritage and spirituality.  Many of us have attended theological lectures and felt there would be an interest in offering lectures in North Georgia to learn more about the origin and evolution of our religious heritage.  

Our mission is to foster a better understanding of religion, theology, spirituality and science 
and how that impacts our lives in the 21st century.

Mountain Top Lectures in collaboration with the University of North Georgia host scholars and authors on a wide range of issues of religion and spirituality in a north Georgia setting. We host three lectures per year, one in the spring, one in the summer and one in the fall at the Hoag Auditorium at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA.

Since we began in 2010, we have been very fortunate to host some of the most prominent authors and speakers on religion: Dr. Amy Jill Levine, Dr. Marcus Borg, Dr. Robin Meyers, Dr. Bart Ehrman, and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, Dr. Brian McLaren, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Dr. John Dominic Crossan and Rabbi Rami Shapiro.  We hosted Dr. Owen Flanagan, Dr. Kirby Godsey and Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor, Rev. Michael Dowd, imam Enchassi, Rev. Dr. John Phillip Newell.  In 2017 we have hosted Pastor Phillip Gulley, Dr. Mark Muesse and Sister Ilia Delio.

If you have an interest or curiosity about how Christianity and other religions developed and the challenges they face in the 21st century, you will want to join us at Mountain Top Lectures.

Our recent post lecture surveys have indicated a strong interest in spirituality, the connections between science and religion and understanding other religions.  Our future speakers address these issues.

We limit the number attending our lectures to provide an intimate setting for questions and discussion.

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2018 Lecture Series speakers - 

April 6-7 - Dr. Justin L. Barrett

August 25 - Rev. Gretta Vosper

 November 9-10 - Rev. Brian McLaren

2019 Lecture Series speakers -

April 5-6 - Dr. Bart Ehrman

August 24 - Professor Karima Bennoune

November 2 - Greg Epstein

Spring Lecture with Dr. Justin L. Barrett 

April 6-7 2018

Sponsor registration now open

Public registration will begin Feb. 20th

Justin L. Barrett joined the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in 2011 as Thrive Professor of Developmental Science and served as director of the Thrive Center for Human Development from 2011 to 2014. He is currently the chief project developer for the Office for Science, Theology, and Religion Initiatives (STAR) and, as of January 2018, also serves as acting dean of the School of Psychology. An experimental psychologist, Dr. Barrett taught for five years in Oxford University’s School of Anthropology, and is best known for his research on religion.

While at Oxford, Professor Barrett helped establish and became the director of the Centre for Anthropology and Mind, and the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology. Early in his academic career, Professor Barrett served as an assistant professor of psychology at Calvin College and was a research investigator and visiting professor at the Institute of Social Research and the Culture and Cognition Program at the University of Michigan.

Lecture 1: Naturally Explaining the Supernatural: What is Cognitive Science of Religion?

One of the most important new trends in the scholarly study of religious thought and action is the cognitive science of religion (CSR). In this lecture, Dr. Barrett explains what CSR is and reviews CSR’s “naturalness thesis”: that by virtue of the way human minds ordinarily develop, humans are naturally receptive to religious thought. This area of science suggests that many forms of religious thought may be conceptual “paths of least resistance” for humans.

Lecture 2: Do Explanations of Religion Explain 
It Away? Philosophical Implications of Cognitive Science of Religion 

The cognitive science of religion (CSR) appears to be making progress in explaining why it is that people hold certain types of religious beliefs. If these explanations prove to be successful, and explicit mention of supernatural realities are not part of the explanations, do these explanations undermine justification for religious beliefs and commitments? Dr. Barrett presents and discusses several arguments against religious belief from findings and theories in CSR. 

Lecture 3: How Cognitive Science of Religion Presents New Resources for Christian Theology 

Christian theology has long operated without reference to scientific findings, but the times are changing. Theological treatments of, for instance, the nature of human beings and divine revelation may be helpfully informed by scientific insights. In this lecture, Dr. Barrett argues for this thesis through examples drawn from cognitive science of religion and evolutionary psychology. For instance, it appears that science agrees that humans have something like a natural “sense of the divine” but perhaps differs importantly from Jean Calvin’s view of the sensus divinitatis

The Genesis Library

A great resource to enhance your book club, start a small discussion group or support your Sunday School class.with

Mountain Top Lectures is offering free access to a resource library of DVD 's and CD's to registered groups to help facilitate local discussion on topics of religion and spirituality.

This program will be available only to registered groups under the Genesis Project guidelines. The only cost to the group will be the cost of return postage to material back to the Genesis Project. The Genesis Project will pay for the outbound postage.

To participate in this program you must register your group. Please click on this link to download the Registration Form. You need to complete and sign the form and mail to us.

Genesis Project Group Registration Form.docx

Review the current list of resource materials available through the Genesis Project
Inventory by Title - Oct. 2016.pdf
Inventory by Author - Oct. 2016.pdf
After your group has registered and you may order materials from our resource library.
To order material, please submit a Genesis Project Material Request Form.

Genesis Project Request Form .docx

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