March 23 lecture notes

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13 Apr 2011
Final exam= bread and butter type of question.
Religion and modernity: Key structural and Cultural Trends
Modern societies are fundamentally shaped and ordered by:
Capitalism Burecreutaization science- technology
And Globalization
These developments have led to changes in: i) the place of religion in society ii) the standing
and functioning of religious institutions and in iii) the nature of religiosity:
1)The marginalization/displacement/substitution of religious cultural traditions by
formal rationalism, scientism, individualism, materialism and consumerism
2)Fostering//reinforcing a general SECULARIZATION
Structural {institutional differentiation and autonomy]
Cultural [ pluralism/revitalization of traditions]
3)Religious revitalization or modernizing movements
Conservative reactions ... FUNDAMENTALISM {Jewish, Christian,
Islamic,, Hindu, etc, affirm the authority of the sacred, upload the gender
roles, oppose moral decay...]
Liberal efforts to update or modernize the tradition { Vatican II,
ordaining women in some Protestant churches, changing policies at birth
control, homosexuality, etc}
4)The emergence/intensification of quasi-religious cultural forms
Civil religions nationalism or cult of the state
Grand ideologies such as socialism, communism, ecology, concerns
Seeker or new age spirituality [ aromatherapy, crystals, meditation,
astrology, olistic mind/body purifications etc]
5)Syncretism and new religious movements (NRMs)
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