Thursday, 7 June 2018

Re-dimensioning religion

Given the whole movement of the modern world more away from religion than towards it, we need to consider what aspects of the current times drives people away from religion, when religion actually drew people to it, not so long ago.

There are those who still feel the need for religion, in one sense:  the catholics who want reintroduction of the Latin Mass, Muslims who are willing to blow themselves (and others) up for faith, hindus who want to establish it is a natural and original form of life (not a religion) and buddhists who want to use violence to remain buddhists.  They still look up to religion as the guiding principle for all aspects of life: social, political, cultural, emotional, besides spiritual.

Then there are those who do not want to have anything to do with religion.  The kind that are convinced that the world would be (have been) a better place without religion.  They abhor and reject anything and everything that is associated with religion.  The child abuse scandals by priests and religious, jihad wars, communal violence, religious heads endorsing gender inequality and issuing blanket diktats have strengthened this perspective.

There are those who want to salvage something of religion without the mistakes of the past, avoiding the danger of total elimination of religion.  They consider that the time of religion being the ethical, moral and civil voice of the community and the conscience of the individual is bygone.  However, the emotional solace and strength that is offers is still valuable.  Religion still offers meaningful ways of coping with life, especially grief, pain, suffering and despair. 

Continuing with the historical role and notion of religion is dangerous, so is total elimination of it (As stated in the movie Oh my god, anyone trying to dethrone religion will be made into a god!).  The challenge is to rediscover its meaning for our times.  

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