Sacred Worlds: An Introduction to Geography and Religion

By Chris C. Park | Go to book overview

2

REFLECTIONS ON RELIGION

Religion…is the opium of the people.

Karl Marx [Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1843-4]


INTRODUCTION

Marxism is sometimes seen as a secular alternative to religion. Indeed some would argue that it is the major secular religion to have emerged in the last century. Karl Marx saw religion as both an expression of human distress and a means of disguising its true causes, and so he argued that it was the opium of the people because it offered them happiness that was not real but an illusion (Hinnells 1984a:205).

The great architect of Communism would have us believe that people seek an escape from reality via religion, which offers a social anaesthetic from the ills and evils of life. Addictive religion might be, but not for the reasons Marx puts forward. It is not without irony that religion (particularly Christianity, both Orthodox and Western) is witnessing a renaissance throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in the wake of the collapse of Communism, as a newly liberated people rediscover the life-changing capacity of religion, and existing believers emerge from their chrysalises of covert worship and fellowship.

Edmund Burke said in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) that ‘man is by his constitution a religious animal’. The same theme is echoed nearly two centuries later, by Yi Fu Tuan (1976:271-2), who pointed out that ‘religion is present to varying degrees in all cultures. It appears to be a universal human trait. In religion human beings are clearly distinguished from other animals’.

Given that this human trait is universal, and that it leaves indelible fingerprints on so many aspects of society, landscape and environment (as we saw in Chapter 1, pp. 2-7), it is important to reflect on what religion actually means (in theory and in practice), how it is expressed, and how it functions in the modern world. This is our task in this chapter.

-31-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sacred Worlds: An Introduction to Geography and Religion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 332

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.