Essay Movement New Religious

Essay Movement New Religious-36
Others seek through science the ultimate answers of our origins, or dream of high-tech transcendence by merging with machines — either approach depending not on rationalism alone but on a faith in the goodness of what rationalism can offer.

Others seek through science the ultimate answers of our origins, or dream of high-tech transcendence by merging with machines — either approach depending not on rationalism alone but on a faith in the goodness of what rationalism can offer.For some individuals and societies, the role of religion seems increasingly to be filled by environmentalism.

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And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

[Genesis -29] magazine in 1967, historian Lynn Townsend White, Jr.

We are superior to nature, contemptuous of it, willing to use it for our slightest whim.” But White was not entirely without hope.

Even though “no new set of basic values” will “displace those of Christianity,” perhaps Christianity itself can be reconceived.

“Despite Copernicus, all the cosmos rotates around our little globe.

Despite Darwin, we are not, in our hearts, part of the natural process.The rejection of traditional religion in these quarters has created a vacuum unlikely to go unfilled; human nature seems to demand a search for order and meaning, and nowadays there is no shortage of options on the menu of belief.Some searchers syncretize Judeo-Christian theology with Eastern or New Age spiritualism.Survival required knowing how to relate to food species like bison and fish, dangerous predators like bears, and powerful geological forces like volcanoes — and the rise of agriculture required expertise in the seasonal cycles upon which the sustenance of civilization depends.Our uniquely Western approach to the natural world was shaped fundamentally by Athens and Jerusalem.In a widely quoted 2003 speech, Crichton outlined the ways that environmentalism “remaps” Judeo-Christian beliefs: There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all.We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability.One of the most serious critiques of White’s thesis appears in theologian Richard John Neuhaus’s 1971 book , a broad indictment of the rise of the mellifluous “theology of ecology.” Neuhaus argues that our framework of human rights is built upon the Christian understanding of man’s relationship to nature.Overturning the latter, as White hoped would happen, will bring the former crashing down.Across Europe, Judeo-Christian church attendance is down, as is adherence to religious prohibitions such as those against out-of-wedlock births.And while Americans remain, on average, much more devout than Europeans, there are demographic and regional pockets in this country that resemble Europe in their religious beliefs and practices.


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