March 21.docx

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23 Apr 2012
March 21, 12
Religion and Modernity
- Capitalism, Bureaucratization Globalization, and Science-
- These developments have led to changes in 1) The place of religion
in society, 2) The standing and functioning of religious institutions,
and in 3) the nature of religiosity:
- 1) the marginalization/displacement/substitutions or religious
traditions by formal rationalism, scientism (growing faith in science
clues on how to live their lives), individualism (Weber thesis),
materialism (understood largely with material), and consumerism (
- 2) Fostering and reinforcing a general SECULARIZATION
- Operates on two levels…
- ^ structural [institutional differentiation and autonomy]
- ^ cultural [pluralism/relativization of traditions]
- In modern societies things become more secularized less
emphasis on scripture or religious commandments.
- 3) Religious revitalization and modernizing movements
- conservative reactions… FUNDAMENTALISM [Jewish, Christian,
Islamic, Hindu, etc…, affirm the authority of the sacred, uphold
traditional gender roles, oppose moral decay…] is shaped by
modernity a reaction against the new but not a restoration of the
old selective recreation of a tradition.
- liberal efforts to update or modernize the tradition [Vatican II,
ordaining women in some Protestant churches, changing policies on
birth control, homosexuality, etc…] Traditions that try to
accommodate modernity they generally try to modernize the
tradition which makes their religion more responsive to modern life.
- 4) The emergence/intensification of quasi-religious cultural
- Civil religions nationalism, or cult of the state.
- Grand ideologies such as socialism, communism, ecology
- ‘seeker’ or New Age spirituality [aromatherapy, crystals,
meditation, astrology, holistic mind/body purifications, etc.]
- 5) Syncretism and New Religious Movements (NRM’s)
- globalization promotes and reinforces pluralism, relativism, and
- With globalization people come into contact with different religions.
One of the things it does is it relativized religions. Different
traditions come closer on par allows mixing (all religions have
something of value that might improve your life) - syncretism
- all religions have something valuable pick and blend (=
syncretism) according to your individual needs or taste.
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