Well, something freed me in my sleep last night, so I'm starting over again. I'm discussing with an ancient friend behind-the-scenes Karen Armstrong's definition, in the video below, of "Religion":
If you want to watch more of the speech, here's a longer version of (I thinkit's not!--it's better!) the same talk. Sidenote: I used to think the highest aim for my career was to make it on C-Span. Now I think it's to get to do a Chautauqua lecture. Monica, don't miss the reference to midrashic reading around 15:30 in this longer version!
Anyway: the question that most interests me here is: can there be Religion without rituals? And on the other hand, is there any sensible justification for rituals?