Solomon Schimmel is a psychologist of religion and Professor of Jewish Education and Psychology at Hebrew College. He has been a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar and Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University and has lectured widely throughout the world. An expert on the psychology of forgiveness and reconciliation among the world’s religions, he is the author of The Seven Deadly Sins: Jewish, Christian, and Classical Reflections on Human Psychology and Wounds Not Healed by Time: The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness, both published by Oxford University Press. His forthcoming book, also to be published by Oxford University Press, is tentatively titled The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs: Jewish Christian and Muslim Scriptural Fundamentalists.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Professor Schimmel discusses the psychology of religion, why some believers use specious arguments for the divine authorship of their sacred texts, and the threat to civilization that certain Muslim extremists pose. He also talks about the obligation he says scholars have to undermine such anti-social and anti-democratic belief-systems.