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University of Toronto St. George
Joseph Bryant

March 28, 12 Secularization - Markers: ENLIGHTENMENT (over „superstition‟ – Voltaire, Rousseau, et al.) - Secularization – process – not over night – features conflict between secularity and religion. - SCIENCE (over faith) – science becomes increasingly the source of authority – scientific principles at work. - REASON (over dogma) – no more insisting on sacred truths – reasoning through. - TECHNOLOGY and this-worldly fulfillment (afterlife is remote, devalued) - For the Enlightenment thinkers, traditional religion was a dated superstition, a product of humanity‟s infancy and ignorance; with the rise of Science, practical reason and technological progress would displace or supplant the religious worldview. - ^Occupies the role to fulfill needs and desires instead of looking for sacred or supernatural assistance. - Marx – religion as social alienation - Freud – religion as illusion, wish-fulfillment. - Weber – Rationalization – all aspects of life moving to formal means-ends efficiencies, and Disenchantment – the world is calculable, manageable through technical-rational means of organization (bureaucracy), social relations based on law, contract   decline of the supernatural as a regulative framework of understanding and action… - ^Modern societies were moving increasingly in the direction of formal rationality. The need for standardizing arrangements in society. - ^Substantive rationality – the outcome is better. - ^Formal rationality – simply operate according to rules. - ^Earlier forms of justice is more relevant. - Sacred scriptures lost sacred aura through critical analysis. – applied the same thing to the history of Christianity – losing luster. - ^Scholars began to situate religious traditions in wider contexts – ex. Noah story synonymous with older stories. - Robin Horton – historically, there have been two major aspects/concerns of religious life: - 1) “manipulation” – i.e. explanation/prediction/control: as explanatory systems – accounts of why things are the way they are, how they come about, etc. – religious worldviews offer a comprehension of reality – i.e., they make a kosmos – and thus afford us a measure of practical direction/control in our dealings with the everyday space-time world.- 2) “communion” – Believers seek an intrinsically meaningful, comforting, or protective relationship with a higher or more encompassing order, with the Divine or Transcendent – since beliefs, meanings, and values are validated collectively, religions generate powerful bonds of solidarity with the group/ community to which one belongs [Durkheim] - two basic cognitive orientations shape the human experience: - 1) common sense, i.e. “primary theory” entitles as directly given to sense perception (objects in space, temporal flow), and conventially defined or names. - 2) “secondary theory” critical, seeks the “real causes” below the surface of appearance, the “given” world has hidden, deeper truths speculative thought – going beyond and trying to make sense of the experience. Successive schemes of intelligibility and meaning: -  myth religion philosophy science - Premodern “secondary theories”: animistic, a personal idiom, spiritual  magic and religion. - Modern science is impersonal, materialistic  technological control. - Horton argues that science and technology have encroached upon the traditional “explanatory/control” function of religion, thus making the “communion” aspects more prominent in modernity … but also potentially more vulnerable. - Traditional religious worldviews – incorporating beliefs, norms, values, images, symbols, etc… - are now incr
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