Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Definition of Religion

As I have argued before, we use really poor definitions of religion quite frequently, unfortunately often posing religion as quite different from and the enemy to authentic spirituality. This is a dichotomoy that should not exist, along the same lines as spirituality and psychology and religion and science.

In any case, this is an interesting article looking at the definition of religion in a way I haven't really considered it before. While I have advocated for broadening the definition of religion, this author argues broadening it in a different way. It echoes some observations about the more communal versus individualistic traditions.

1 comment:

  1. It's something I've believed for a long time. Church and religion are at least as much about a tribal thing as about what one believes. Human beings are fundamentally tribal animals. Our weird culture of rugged individualism combined with the general fragmentation of social networks has created a whole society of tribal orphans--lost souls who don't belong anywhere in particular. No tribes, no clans, no place in the social order you don't have to really work at creating.

    There are good things about the freedom to choose one's tribe--people didn't used to have that luxury. But freedom sometimes links with that nomadic lack of belonging. There's no place we just know we belong. And no secular networks can match church.

    Believing and behaving without belonging is pretty empty.



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