4/02/2008

Can there be Peace in the Valley and in the High Places?

It is often assumed that the 21st Century will be a century of religious ideological conflict in much the same way that the 20th Century was one of political ideological conflict. This rather glum assumption is called into question by an important article in The Atlantic Monthly online. "And the Winner Is..." by Alan Wolfe spells out some important implications of the demographics of world religions and challenges the assumption that there will not be peaceful possibilities for the worlds religions.

The Global South Anglican website draws our attention to the article on their pages.

The cost for this peace is bound up with a mixed bag of inducements: in particular gross national product (wealth) and secular society. GNP includes in it the markers of possible improvement in the lives of ordinary people. Secular society (unlike secularism) includes the markers for possible improvement in religious tolerance. They are only markers, of course. It is possible for religious fanaticism to arise in all sorts of contexts. Neither make fervent religious life impossible. But the article contends that a possible religious peace is made the easier when these markers are found.

The article is long and my few notes here do not do it justice. Do as the GSA folk recommend: Read it. Again, you may find it HERE.

2 comments:

  1. Virginia Gal2/4/08 10:31 PM

    I second Mark's recommendation - read the article if this topic interests you! It really isn't that long (grin. wink). And The Atlantic literary style is a nice change from our USA Today bullet-style culture.

    Here's another teaser: "The French philosopher Blaise Pascal once famously showed that it would be irrational to bet against the existence of God. It would be equally foolish, in the long run, to bet against the power of the Enlightenment. The answer to the question of which religion will dominate the future, at least politically, may well be: None of the above."

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  2. I think it is a very well written, and interesting article. I suspect the enlightenment is faced as is so much of history with the law of unintended consequences :-).

    That may serve as yet another teaser.


    FWIW
    jimB

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