By Graeme Smith
What does it suggest to name Western society 'secular'? what's secularism? and the way should still we comprehend the the concept that of 'secularism' in diplomacy, relatively the conflict among radical Islam and the West? The note 'secular' has come to intend that which belongs to this lifestyles, to the the following and now, during this international. it truly is commonplace as a shorthand for the ideology which shapes modern society regardless of the divine. even if, based on Graeme Smith, 'secularism' represents greatly extra. He deals an intensive reappraisal of the concept of secularism and its historical past, starting with the Greeks and continuing to modernity and the modern interval. the belief that the West is turning into more and more secular is usually unquestioned. against this, Dr Smith discerns a special type of society: one trained through a historic legacy which is sensible in simple terms whilst it truly is liked that it truly is spiritual. Secularism was once born of Christianity. Daringly - and extremely initially - Smith argues that it truly is very unlikely to appreciate the assumption of the secular with no appreciating that, at root, it truly is Christian. a quick historical past of Secularism will essentially reshape discussions of western tradition, faith and politics, and may have robust attract scholars of faith, political philosophy and the heritage of principles.
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Additional resources for A Short History of Secularism
He writes that in the end ‘all good is rewarded and all evil punished, if not actually in this form of life then in the later existences that begin after death. In this way all the terrors, the sufferings and the hardships of life are destined to be obliterated. 14 It was but a small step to compress all the attributes of the gods into one divine figure. The great advance to monotheism was simultaneously a return to the origins of religion as human relations with the one God could now more precisely mirror the intimacy of relations with the father.
In fact, this complacency, the ‘unexamined assumption’ that ‘religion per se is, and always must be, a benign influence on society’, is an ‘indispensable condition for the successes of the ultraconservative minority’. Jacoby’s mission is to awaken the US public to the dangers of renewed religious influence and power. A major weapon in Jacoby’s retaliatory armoury is to equate the Church with social conservatism and humanism with social 02c Secularism_020-041:02 28 8/10/07 10:47 Page 28 A Short History of Secularism reform.
Humanity reaches back into its own early experiences of fear and protection. There it comes across the parental figure and, especially, the father. 12 And when the personalized nature adopts the father identity it becomes divine. Humanity turns personalized nature into the gods. For ‘gods’ are the expression of the father memory in the character of nature. These gods have a threefold task: to ‘exorcise the terrors of nature’; to reconcile people to the ‘cruelty of Fate’; and to ‘compensate them for the sufferings and privations which a civilized life in common has imposed on them’.
A Short History of Secularism by Graeme Smith