The Social Ecology of Religion

The Social Ecology of Religion

The Social Ecology of Religion

The Social Ecology of Religion

Synopsis

I: INTRODUCTION 1. Why Religions? 2. Prior Approaches to the Study of Religion 3. The Challenge of Modernity II: RELIGIONS AND THE LIFE CYCLE 4. Conception and Contraception 5. Infanticide and Abortion 6. Birth and Childhood 7. Adolescence 8. Marriage 9. Divorce and Widowhood 10. Middle and Old Age 11. Death III: RELIGION AND DISEASE 12. Faith and Sickness 13. Religions and the Enhanced Risk of Disease 14. Religions and the Reduced Risk of Disease IV: CONCLUSIONS

Excerpt

Against expectations, religion has, in the 1990s, become a topic of everyday conversation and concern. Whether or not the war in the Gulf was about oil or colonialism or something else, it was dubbed by one of the protagonists a jihad, or holy war. "Is this your civilization?" asked one of the survivors of the bombing of a Baghdad bunker in which hundreds of civilians were killed, when confronted by a Western tv journalist. He might as well have asked, "Is this your religion?" Even though the Islamic nations of the Middle East and elsewhere were divided about the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait or the Israeli occupation of the West Bank of the River Jordan, there is little doubt that anti-Christian and anti-Jewish sentiments were revived among the Islamic people of the Middle East as a result of the bombing of civilians in Iraq, and old wounds were reopened. in the former Yugoslavia, too, "ethnic cleansing" has taken place not only on national and linguistic grounds but also along religious lines, again primarily between Christians and Muslims.

Why religions? Why do religions go on? What makes them persist? Cannot modern secular states look after themselves? Are they too weak? Why do modern governments look to God, to Allah, for support? Why do Indians join fundamentalist Hindu parties in which naked ascetics share the platform with politicians?

The modern state insists on a birth certificate: it wants to know who has been born. It insists on a marriage certificate: it wants to know who marries whom. It insists on a death certificate: it wants to know who can be struck off the books. With all this knowledge, why does it also turn to God? One of the reasons is historical. the state was not always distinct from the church; at one time not so very long ago religious institutions . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.