Religion Role In A Troubled World Secular Fundamentalism

Religion Role In A Troubled World Secular Fundamentalism

There has been much discussion over the decline of religion due to modernity and enlightenment. Max Weber called it disenchantment. Extreme movements have even attempted to abolish religion entirely. Religions are alive and well. They exert a large and profound influence on the public sphere.

Is this a threat for secularism? Are religion and extremism part of the problem or part of the solution to global extremism? This is not a call for the end of the religious state. It is a critique of Western secularism as a dominant global ideology. It criticizes certain forms of separation between politics and religion.

Extremism Is A Result Of Religion?

It is common in modern times to view religion as a problem-maker. This is often the case after any violent incident anywhere in the world, where religion is just one of many factors in the violence.

This is a clear indication that secularism, at least in Western terms, has moved beyond the separation of religion and state. Charles Taylor refers to this as the condition of belief. It places a strong emphasis on the necessity for God and religion being destroy, while also rejecting religious involvement in public affairs.

Rajeev Bhargava calls this ethical secularism, and says that religion is a disease in public life. Religion should made to disappear from the private sphere. This leaves no room for acknowledging the powerful role of religion and spirituality in conflict resolution and peace making.

Ethical Secularism Religion

Ethical secularism can be radicalize by putting emphasis on secular humanism, exclusive humanity or atheism above religions. A moderate version of secularism is need because of the unfairness of favouring certain parts of society over others.

This perspective would make it clearer that the relationship between religion and extremism is not related. Radical secularism also produces extremism. For example, this is true in the Middle East. The forcible imposition by the secular nation-state on the Muslim world resulted in despotism and suppression, as well as massacres, and also opened the door for Islamic fundamentalism at the expense of moderates.

Secularism as a critique of religious hegemony must not just be a mechanical repetition of violence-enacting critique, but rather the manifestation of critique as a receptivity-enacting, possibility-disclosing practice as Nikolas Kompridis argues. Abdullahi An-Naim describes secularism as a mediation system. It must encourage compromise between religious and non-religious communities, rather than prioritising and privileging one.

The problem with blaming religion is the need to distinguish between religion as an abstract phenomena and specific actions. A agency should be used to view religion, secularism, atheism, and other similar concepts. It is possible to discuss a specific religious institution, a specific secular state, or a particular religious or non-religious behaviour. Religion is complex and can be interpreted in many ways. It does not have to be oppressive or tyrannical by nature.

The History Of Peace Making

The potential for religions that have a rich history of wisdom, tradition, and spiritual experience can be part of the solution rather than the problem. The Institute of Peace reports that religious or faith-based peace making is growing in popularity and the number of cases being cited is increasing.

Some faith-based peacemaking strategies have succeeded in avoiding civil war. In its 50-year-old history, the Christian-rooted Community of Sant’Egidio has been a major contributor to peacemaking. It has 70,000 volunteers from different religions, and is a leader in peace promotion worldwide.

This community has played a role in peace negotiations in Mozambique and the Philippines, as well as other countries. Two dialogue meetings were held recently between Sunni and Shiite leaders in Iraq and Shiite religious leaders from the Catholic Church to discuss global issues in relation to extremism.

Another example is the prominent role play by Ayatollah Sistani, a Muslim-Shiite cleric. He has been instrumental in countering religious extremism as well as promoting forgiveness and peace. His actions during the occupation of Iraq and sectarian strife have been wise. They helped to avoid worse humanitarian disasters. He does not call for an Islamic state, but a democratic and civil Iraq. Recognizing and encouraging the religious contribution to peacemaking and solving various social problems must encourage.

God Of Many Faiths Eludes Some Hospital Chaplains

God Of Many Faiths Eludes Some Hospital Chaplains

No one laughs at God when he’s in a hospital, chants Regina Spektor, a popular Russian-American singer. As I preview Hospital Chaplains first episode, which airs on ABC at 6.30pm tonight, these words are a vivid reminder of my thoughts. The God in this series isn’t an abstract theological concept that can be use academically. This is the God for those who suffer, and those who are near death in hospitals intensive care units or public wards.

Geraldine Doogue, the narrator says that forty thousand Australians end up in hospitals each day. They need to taken care of in terms of their bodies as well as their souls. Chaplains are those who care for souls. This is a major problem in a country that is primarily secular and non-believing, such as Australia.

In deference to Australia’s multicultural and secular nature, the series quickly attempts to draw a line between religion and spirituality. The Royal North Shore Hospital’s intensive care unit’s doctor explained that chaplaincy is not about preaching or ‘you must repent’. It’s about listening to patients and helping them understand their spiritual and emotional side.

Dr Ray Raper is referring to Di Roche, his non-denominational chaplaincy, who does indeed practice an open and non-sectarian style. Patients and their families are introduce to her by a disclaimer. I’m no God-botherer. She makes patients and their families feel comfortable and trustable.

Primary God Concern Of Culturally

Suspicion of religion is so great in Australia that the primary concern of culturally-sensitive, intelligent chaplains is to get on the same wave-length as patients. This means that you should not come across as being too religious.

Di Roche is not the only chaplain who is open-mind and adventurous. We are treat to a touching encounter between Graham McKay (Anglican chaplain of Liverpool Hospital) and Neville, a former driver of earth-moving machinery who is dying from cancer.

Neville says, I know that I’m dying, in a quiet and contemplative moment. There must be something I should do. Although the chaplain appears to be helpful enough, it seems to me that he is a God-bother who is too happy to assist with old-fashioned remedies.

This is where the series reveals its cliched and hackneyed side and the division between its claims, and its practices. McKay finds that Neville hasn’t been to church since Sunday school. He speaks to him in a condescending manner, as though he were still a child.

He is instructed to put his faith in Jesus Christ, that’s how we prepare to die. Is that something you have ever done? The chaplain is honest, but sanctimonious. Neville isn’t convinced and appears to have some surprises for his traditional chaplain.

Muslim Man God

He said, My step-daughter got married to a Muslim man and she’s now converted to Islam and I can’t fault anything they do. He’s not a Christian, so I can’t claim he’s bad.

The chaplain nods but with apparent unease and embarrassment. Neville claims that his son-in law wanted him to convert, but he refused. He claims he wasn’t able to convert and that he didn’t feel motivated. However, he insists that his son in law is a good person.

He emphasizes that he doesn’t think he is wrong. The chaplain is looking uncomfortable again, hoping for a quick and easy death-bed return back to Neville’s absolutist Christianity. The chaplain declares that he is an absoluteist in his faith, saying My way is God’s way.

This is not what we meant to hear, dear. Graham McKay holds the key to God’s ways. What happen to the God in all traditions, the God who is not divided, the God who transcends religions? In our current spiritual complexity and difficulty, this is not good television.

Tepid Consolation

McKay offers some tepid consolation: We can have great regard for people with other beliefs but in the end, we have to figure out what’s right. Who does McKay’s royal we refer too? We Australians, Christians, moderns, Buddhists. His ministry in multicultural west Sydney should have taught him something about a bigger God, a god of all people, and a God who cares for the human suffering community.

Although Neville might not be very knowledgeable in his statements, he has learned important lessons about living within a multi-faith community. He isn’t going to repeat what the chaplain wants him say, namely that Jesus is the only one who can save souls and bring them to eternal life.

If only chaplains would pay more attention to the patients’ concerns, they might be able to learn from them about how to put into practice the bold new rhetoric of caring for the body, soul, and spirit.

Witch Craft Became A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

Witch Craft Became A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

Yoko Ono once observe that wizards are respect by people. A witch, my God, we must burn them. For centuries witches have been vilified for their dark power and influence. But could this fear have been a result of their commercial success? Since the 13th Century, witches have been successful business women in England, Scotland and Finland. Witchy toys, crystals and potion kit sales are booming today. Some global brands have even adopted the craft.

Healing Villagers, Helping Sailors Witch

In 800 A.D., sailors were influence by superstition and sought out sea witches to buy wind knots. These magical ropes had three knots. One knot thought to bring a breeze, two would give a stronger wind, and three would cause a gale.

Sailing sought alternative methods to control wind speed when women were murder during the witch hunts that erupted in the Early Modern period, 1450-1750. Villagers who couldn’t afford to pay for doctors were even more dependent on them.

Many witches were great healers, despite not being allow to practice medicine until the 13th century. There are many treatments they offer that can still be found in modern drugs. Willow bark is use to treat inflammation. Aspirin was create from a chemical in the willow tree. Garlic is use for cholesterol. Research on its effectiveness is still lacking. Although we don’t use it to fly, the plant henbane has hyoscine, which is used for motion sickness, and nightshade has atropine (a muscle relaxant).

Witches were able to make a living selling poisons and love potions in 17th-century France. Catherine Deshayes (also known as La Voisin), made a fortune selling potions for women to poison a partner or competitor. She even sold to Louis XIV’s mistress. She also offered abortions. Deshayes was executed at the stake on 1680.

Independent women were often treated with suspicion by witch hunters. Between 1620-1725 in New England 89% of witch hunters were wealthy. They had no male siblings or children.

Pagan Rituals And Social Media Witch

Deshayes was a Satanist. Because they didn’t believe in Christianity, the wind sellers were pagan. They were nevertheless the ones who helped to develop Wicca, a form of modern witchcraft, in the middle of the 20th century. Gerald Gardner, who is considered to be the founder of modern Wicca in 1954, published Witchcraft Today and established his first coven.

The Pew Research Center estimates that almost 1,000,000 Americans are Wiccans or Pagans by 2014. Spiritual paths are complete with accoutrements. Witchcraft, just like wind knots that sold to sailors in the 13th century, has an enduring revenue potential. Renate Daniel, a Newcastle-base business owner and witch, can often be seen working in a cemetery in Wollombi. She will lay flowers on gravestones, while also showing tourists ghost tours or helping with paranormal investigations.

Witches may combine spiritual practices with their witchcraft. Janine Donnellan, a Sydney witch, combines healing magic with Reiki to balance chakras. Businesses like Witchin’Wares and Fiona Horne, a musician, cater to the approximately 22,000 Australians who identify themselves as Wiccan or pagan.

Most practitioners of witchcraft don’t believe that witchcraft is all about money. Donnellan claims she has “a few people” in her freezer — which means she has used spells to keep away negative energy by putting someone’s name in a bag and filling it with water, then freezing it.

The American psychic services market, which includes mediums, palm readers and astrologists, is value at US$2.2 billion (A$3.2billion). Most of the industry’s growth has driven by small businesses.

The internet is full of smart witches. #witchtok has been view over 5.3 billion times on TikTok, while #witchesofinstagram has a total of 5.5 million posts. Etsy has over 400,000 products that tag witch, including candles, spell bottles and pentagram necklaces.

Corporate Witchcraft

This isn’t just for online influencers or cottage psychics. With mixed results, large corporations are exploring the mystical

The Kennard Novelty Company in 1891 patented the Ouija Board. This tool was use by spiritualists and witches to communicate with their spirits. The company grew quickly from a single factory in Baltimore to two factories in New York, one in Chicago, and one in London within a year. The patent was transfer to Parker Brothers in 1967. Annual sales reached 2,000,000, more than Monopoly.

Sephora’s Starter Witch kit costing US$42 was launch in 2018. It included sage, rose quartz and tarot cards. Sephora removed the product from the marketplace after witches across the globe decried the product as cultural appropriation.

Other corporations not discourage by this controversy. Airbnb offered holiday experiences that included fall equinox rituals last year. Urban Outfitters sells smudge sticks and tarot card crystals in its US stores, and witch hat incense holders at Australian outlets. Booktopia also sells tarot card.

The black hat is a globally recognize marketing iconography that witches can claim. Even though COVID has hampered Halloween’s popularity, Americans still expect to spend US$8 Billion on the holiday with pagan roots.

Modern witches can now prosper financially thanks to the commercialization of witchcraft without fear of being burn at stake, drowned, or tortured. There is no turning back now that you have come out of your broom closet.