The shape of theological humanism -- Ideas and challenges -- The humanist imagination -- Thinking of God -- The logic of Christian humanism -- On the integrity of life -- The task of theological humanism -- Our endangered garden -- A school of conscience -- Masks of mind -- Religion and spiritual integrity -- Living theological humanism.
The purpose of this investigation is to define the centrality of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008–09 and its following stage—the Great Recession, which are controlled by business religion of the emerging global civilization. When democracy defeated totalitarianism in 1989 with the removal the Berlin Wall, we achieved a New World Order. For a long time nobody could explain its meaning and practicality, since it did not seem possible to decompose the emerging Global Civilization into its pieces; (...)religion, culture and infrastructure. Global culture and global infrastructure could be recognized and somehow defined, but “global religion” was unrecognized. No sacred religions could be accepted as the world’s universal religion! However, these authors assume that our newglobal religion is no longer a sacred one, but secular under the guise and practice of business. The global civilization is characterized and its impact upon the well being of world’s population is assessed. The framework of business religion as the new religion of the Global Civilization is modeled and characterized. The future of business religion is evaluated and the means to develop a better and sustainable alternative is offered. (shrink)
The article defends the view that the role of traditional religions in civilization is ambiguous—at once positive and negative. Religions teach their faithful basic ethics, but they do it in an authoritative manner without consideration for the moral autonomy of the conscience nor the situational aspects of moral choices. They propagate “soft” social attitudes like forgiveness, compassion and peace but are also a frequent source of serious conflicts. The author seeks the reasons behind the dissonances which religion brings (...) into civilization. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the effects of religious denomination and patterns of church-going on the construction of political values for high-school students. I argue that religion plays a role in the formation of political attitudes among teenagers and it influences their political participation. I examine whether this relationship is constructed along denominational lines. From a theoretical perspective, previous research heralded the compatibility between Western Christianity and the democratic form of government. Samuel Huntington, in his famous Clash of (...) class='Hi'>Civilization, argued that there is a natural symbiosis between Western Christianity and democratic forms of government, going insofar as to separate the world into religious civilizations. While, this approach essentializes religion as a fixed and immutable entity, Huntington also neglects the importance of dynamic historical, political and social contexts that can, and, in fact, do affect the functioning of religion in different countries, and hence their ability and willingness to accommodate democracy. Much research followed the Clash of Civilizations, either qualifying the central argument, by showing evidence of support for procedural democracy in most of the World, but without its liberal component or even arriving at the opposite conclusion that irrespective of religion, every country is “democratizable”. While I do not attempt to disconfirm fundamental huntingtonian thinking, I do raise the questions of how context can and does influence the intimate relationship between religion and politics. The analysis is conducted on survey data collected by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at Babes-Bolyai University with subjects of 14-15 years old, and the results show that, while Greek Orthodox students do not seem to differ in their political values form their Catholic and Protestant counterparts, they are more prone to participate politically. Nevertheless, their active participatory behavior is only more pronounced in what voting is concerned, an opposite effect being recorder for any other acts of political participation. (shrink)
For decades, the United States has supported the development of civil society in various places around the world. Promoted as integral to democracy, civil society projects have come to include religion and religious freedom as significant components. U.S. experts point to tolerance of all faiths and the presence of voluntary religious association as essential checks to state power and necessary to a free society. Because of its unique relationship with Cuba, the United States support of civil society there has (...) addressed religion in a way unlike that in other countries. This article examines very recent developments there, placing them in larger social and historical context of politics and church/state relations. (shrink)
Current sociology of knowledge tends to take for granted Robert K. Merton’s theory of cumulative advantage: successful ideas bring recognition to their authors, successful authors have their ideas recognized more easily than unknown ones. This article argues that this theory should be revised via the introduction of the differential between the status of an idea and that of its creator: when an idea is more important than its creator, the latter becomes identified with the former, and this will hinder recognition (...) of the intellectual’s new ideas as they differ from old ones in their content or style. Robert N. Bellah’s performance during the “civil religion debate” of the 1970s is reconstructed as an example of how this mechanism may work. Implications for further research are considered in the concluding section. (shrink)
The question of who 'we' are and what vision of humanity 'we' assume in Western culture lies at the heart of hotly debated questions on the role of religion in education, politics, and culture in general. The need for recovering a greater purpose for social practices is indicated, for example, by the rapidly increasing number of publications on the demise of higher education, lamenting the fragmentation of knowledge and university culture's surrender to market-driven pragmatism. The West's cultural rootlessness and (...) lack of cultural identity are also revealed by the failure of multiculturalism to integrate religiously vibrant immigrant cultures. A main cause of the West's cultural malaise is the long-standing separation of reason and faith. -/- Jens Zimmermann suggests that the West can rearticulate its identity and renew its cultural purpose by recovering the humanistic ethos that originally shaped Western culture. In tracing the religious roots of humanism from patristic theology, through the Renaissance into modern philosophy, we find that humanism was originally based on the correlation of reason and faith. In this book, the author combines humanism, religion, and hermeneutic philosophy to re-imagine humanism for our current cultural and intellectual climate. The hope of this recovery is for humanism to become what Charles Taylor has called a 'social imaginary', an internalized vision of what it means to be human. This vision will encourage, once again, the correlation of reason and faith in order to overcome current cultural impasses, such as those posed, for example, by religious and secularist fundamentalisms. (shrink)
Beyond the clash of civilizations -- Martin Luther King, Jr. and the spirit of non-violence -- The market economy and the role of religion -- The age of the internet: interplay of danger and promise -- Rapidly changing times: return to the origins of religion -- Courageous heroes of non-violence -- The future of China and India : great spiritual heritages -- The future of university education -- Mahayana Buddhism and twenty-first century civilization -- Religion, values (...) and politics in a religiously pluralistic world. (shrink)
Fifty years after his death, the thought of the French scientist and Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) continues to inspire new ways of understanding humanity’s future. Trained as a paleontologist and philosopher, Teilhard was an innovative synthesizer of science and religion, developing an idea of evolution as an unfolding of material and mental worlds into an integrated, holistic universe at what he called the Omega Point. His books, such as the bestselling The Phenomenon of Man, have influenced generations (...) of ecologists, environmentalists, planners, and others concerned with the fate of the earth.This book brings together original essays by leading experts who reflect on Teilhard’s legacy for today’s globalized world. They explore such topics as: the idea of God and the person; quantum reality and Teilhard’s vision; spiritual resources for the future; politics and economics; and a charter for co-evolution. (shrink)
In recent years scholars have begun to question the usefulness of the category of ''religion'' to describe a distinctive form of human experience and behavior. In his last book, The Ideology of Religious Studies (OUP 2000), Timothy Fitzgerald argued that ''religion'' was not a private area of human existence that could be separated from the public realm and that the study of religion as such was thus impossibility. In this new book he examines a wide range of (...) English-language texts to show how religion became transformed from a very specific category indigenous to Christian culture into a universalist claim about human nature and society. These claims, he shows, are implied by and frequently explicit in theories and methods of comparative religion. But they are also tacitly reproduced throughout the humanities in the relatively indiscriminate use of ''religion'' as an a priori valid cross-cultural analytical concept, for example in historiography, sociology, and social anthropology. Fitzgerald seeks to link the argument about religion to the parallel formation of the ''non-religious'' and such dichotomies as church-state, sacred-profane, ecclesiastical-civil, spiritual-temporal, supernatural-natural, and irrational-rational. Part of his argument is that the category ''religion'' has a different logic compared to the category ''sacred,'' but the two have been consistently confused by major writers, including Durkheim and Eliade. Fitzgerald contends that ''religion'' imagined as a private belief in the supernatural was a necessary conceptual space for the simultaneous imagining of ''secular'' practices and institutions such as politics, economics, and the Nation State. The invention of ''religion'' as a universal type of experience, practice, and institution was partly the result of sacralizing new concepts of exchange, ownership, and labor practices, applying ''scientific'' rationality to human behavior, administering the colonies and classifying native institutions. In contrast, shows Fitzgerald, the sacred-profane dichotomy has a different logic of use. (shrink)
With fundamentalists dominating the headlines and scientists arguing about the biological and neurological basis of faith, religion is the topic of the day. But religion, Mark C. Taylor shows, is more complicated than either its defenders or critics think and, indeed, is much more influential than any of us realize. Our world, Taylor maintains, is shaped by religion even when it is least obvious. Faith and value, he insists, are unavoidable and inextricably interrelated for believers and nonbelievers (...) alike. Using scientific theories of dynamical systems and complex adaptive networks for cultural and theological analysis, After God redefines religion for our contemporary age. Taylor begins by asking a critical question: What is religion? He then proceeds to explain how Protestant ideas in particular undergird the character and structure of our global information society—the Reformation, Taylor argues, was an information and communications revolution that effectively prepared the way for the media revolution at the end of the twentieth century. Taylor’s breathtaking account of religious ideas allows us to understand for the first time that contemporary notions of atheism and the secular are already implicit in classical Christology and Trinitarian theology. Weaving together theoretical analysis and historical interpretation, Taylor demonstrates the codependence and coevolution of traditional religious beliefs and practices with modern literature, art, architecture, information technologies, media, financial markets, and theoretical biology. After God concludes with prescriptions for new ways of thinking and acting. If we are to negotiate the perils of the twenty-first century, Taylor contends, we must refigure the symbolic networks that inform our policies and guide our actions. A religion without God creates the possibility of an ethics without absolutes that leads to the promotion of creativity and life in an ever more fragile world. The first comprehensive theology of culture since the pioneering work of Paul Tillich, After God is a radical reconceptualization of religion and Taylor’s most pathbreaking work yet, bringing together various strands of theological argument and cultural analysis four decades in the making. (shrink)
In this ambitious exploration of humanity and civilizations throughout history, major historical events and processes in the history of mankind are looked at in order to understand the "currents" of history. Jaroslav Krejc analyzes the whole history of civilization and considers historical events such as feudalism and the development of science. By bringing both sociological and historical insights to this broad subject, and particular attention to different types of knowledge (such as religion and its impact state law labor (...) and ownership), the book offers insights into the future of civilization and shifting global power. (shrink)
The article examines the practice of the applicability of the Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter—ICCPR) and Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter—ECHR). Through the case—law of the European Court on Human Rights (hereinafter—ECtHR) and insights of the Human Rights Committee the author is investigating the content and limits of the freedom of religion. The article examines in detail the limiting clauses to the freedom of belief (...) (national security, public order, public health, public morals) and the possibility to apply derogation clause. The author comes to the conclusion that due to the complexity of this right it is difficult to forecast the future developments of this right. The jurisprudence of the ECtHR is numerous as well as the decisions of the Court are often accompanied by dissenting opinions. Moreover, some potential cases related to the freedom of religion are not considered by the ECtHR as the admissibility criteria are not met. Therefore the author looks forward to the forthcoming jurisprudence of both—regional and universal human rights bodies. (shrink)
This paper considers the claim that Hume washostile to religion and religious belief, andhoped for their demise. Part one examines hisapproach to belief, showing how commentatorstake him to see religious belief asnon-natural. Part two challenges thisconclusion by arguing, first, that Hume'sdistinction between natural and artificialvirtue allows the term ``natural'' to coverreligious belief as well; second, that Humehimself never denies religious belief isnatural, and, third, that he takes religion tobe a necessary part of any flourishing society. The target of (...) Hume's critical remarks onreligion, it is then emphasized, are forms of``false'' religion, which arise from thecorrupting influence of passion, hypocrisy,bigotry, enthusiasm, and superstition. Atbest, it is concluded, the claim that Hume washostile to religion requires qualification,while the view that he was in favor of itsactual demise is largely unwarranted. (shrink)
Originally published in 1966 and now recognized as a classic, Norman O. Brown's meditation on the condition of humanity and its long fall from the grace of a natural, instinctual innocence is available once more for a new generation of readers. Love's Body is a continuation of the explorations begun in Brown's famous Life Against Death . Rounding out the trilogy is Brown's brilliant Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis.
In a spellbinding narrative that skillfully weaves together cutting-edge research among today's foremost scientists, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku--author of the bestselling book Hyperspace --presents a bold, exhilarating adventure into the science of tomorrow. In Visions, Dr. Kaku examines in vivid detail how the three scientific revolutions that profoundly reshaped the twentieth century--the quantum, biogenetic, and computer revolutions--will transform the way we live in the twenty-first century. The fundamental elements of matter and life--the particles of the atom and the nucleus of (...) the cell--have now been decoded, closing one of the great chapters of scientific history. But this is just the preface to an even more far-reaching scientific revolution, as we make the transition from being passive observers of the mysteries of nature to becoming masters of nature, able to manipulate matter, life, and intelligence to remold the world around us. In the first part of Visions, Dr. Kaku discusses the cyber future, when millions of microprocessors are scattered throughout our environment; when the iron principle that has ruled the computer industry, Moore's Law, finally collapses, forcing scientists to adopt startling new designs like DNA computers and quantum computers; and when artificial intelligence systems finally arrive. In the next section, Dr. Kaku shows how the decoding of DNA will allow us to conquer devastating genetic diseases, defeat many cancers at the molecular level, synthesize new medicines using virtual reality, grow new organs, conquer aging and reshape our genetic inheritance. Finally, he explores how quantum physicists will perfect new ways to harness the cosmic energy of the universe--from molecular machines to supermagnets that may energize a second industrial revolution, to powerful fusion engines that one day may take us to the stars. What makes Michio Kaku's vision of the future of science so compelling and authoritative is that it is based on the groundbreaking research already underway at leading laboratories around the world. Weaving interviews with over 150 scientists--several of them Nobel laureates--into a rich, inspiring narrative, Dr. Kaku reveals the growing consensus among key scientists about how science will likely evolve through the early, middle, and late years of the twenty-first century. An intimate, thrilling tour through the next century of science, Visions is a riveting, essential map to how scientists will reshape our future. (shrink)