2012 | 1(22) | 61-79
Article title

La religion et le religieux dans la société postmoderne

Title variants
Religion and Religiosity in a Post-modern Society
Languages of publication
Many contemporary thinkers perceive modernity as the “end of the grand narration idea”. God, as an universal idea, has disappeared. He is being replaced with aesthetics, citizenship, national flags, rationality or nature. What they mean with this phrase is the fading of religious beliefs as a explanations of events, a process that is accompanied by a loss of the sense of life, in a world that can now be scientifically analysed. Marcel Gauchet, a French philosopher, believes that the reasons for the end of a society organized by religion are embedded within Christianity itself. He also believes that religion as an institution has no future but will remain in existence through culture and individual experience. Religion and Faith? How do they stand before us today? Do they still have something to tell us in an already post-modern society? Many contemporary thinkers are worried about the future of a society where, on the one hand, spiritual values are denied any importance and the other, we observe violent reactions of religious groups willing to affirm their identity threatened by globalization. We can observe two trends in modern western society: ‘humanization of the divine’ and ‘divinification of the human’. In both cases humanism gets rid of metaphysical values and God is replaced by an “earth absolute”. At the same time there are those who, while observing these signs of secularization, notice that the Church, despite what statistics and polls indicate, is able to re- act thanks to in-depth thinking. They hope that Christianity can not only become useful to society again but can also “become the soul of society”. How this will materialize remains however to be considered with caution because, next to the dynamic growth of new communities that were so dear to John Paul II, we also observe the revival of sects, the return of various forms of paganism, as well as a new “cult” of organic products. Looking forward, three important questions come to mind: Can a modern society, aimed at economic utilitarianism, afford not to rely on its historical religious foundations? Can it live and define itself without common values or beliefs? Can it be built on values that are exclusively secular without any reference to transcendence?
Physical description
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