Thank you! Rather than mourn this loss of traditional religious belief, Cupitt revels in the new opportunities of a postmodern religion unfettered by inconvenient categories such as sin and superstition. His cogent, artful explanations of complicated philosophical concepts are clearly the strength of the book. After these nubile expositions, however, Cupitt's own ideas for a postmodern religion fall flat. He proposes that three themes from traditional religion can be salvaged.
Characteristics of Postmodernism
It would seem that rumors of God's death have been greatly exaggerated. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again. Be the first to discover new talent! Carlson , Series Editor. Series Description. This series will be complete in Fall and is closed to new submissions.
Kyle Wagner , Acquiring Editor. Founding Editor: Mark C. The Religion and Postmodernism series provides a forum and a catalyst for scholarship that integrates the analysis of religion with the interpretation of contemporary thought and culture.
It began about the middle of the twentieth century and is continuing to develop today. For lack of the better designation it is being called postmodernism—the successor of modernism. We are not sure how it will play out in the long term, but some initial observations are being made about its nature. Postmodernity is a different reaction to modernity. Postmodern people are essentially disenchanted modernists.
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They are convinced that human reason and cleverness cannot achieve the happiness we seek. They have witnessed the environmental ravages of the industrial revolution, the bloody history of the twentieth century, and continued misery, poverty and hunger around the globe. None of these problems were solved by scientific knowledge.
On the contrary, the by-products of science and the industrial revolution exacerbated many of our human problems. Science has provided cures to disease, but it has also created the threat of global warming and nuclear annihilation. In fact, the bombing of Hiroshima and the resulting nuclear arms race may have been the spark that marked the demise of modernity and ignited the rapid rise of a global postmodern culture. But, unlike fundamentalism, postmodernism does not seek to return to an earlier time.
Nor does it see a return to authoritarian religion as the answer. Postmodernism is characterized by the belief that both religion and science have failed us. Postmodern people reject the notion of absolute truth. They no longer trust authority and they reject any institution that claims to have a claim on the truth. They have become highly suspicious of facts. They believe that all truth, even to some extent scientific knowledge, is subjective, biased, and socially constructed. Therefore the truth is not really true.
the postmodern world – following Jesus
In the postmodern worldview, people become their own authority and accept only what they personally experience. There is a sense that feeling is all that counts because, in the end, feeling is all there is. Among postmoderns there is a pervasive cultural pessimism that is cynical about political and ideological grandstanding of authorities and institutions. In a century of bombs, holocausts, and ecological disasters, many people have become disillusioned with their inherited faiths, the institutional church, political parties, and the political process.
In the United States, Watergate and the Vietnam War created a pervasive anti-institutional mood among Baby Boomers, and it has spread to their children. As a result, voter apathy is on the rise and church membership is on the decline. Generation Xers are deeply suspicious of grand claims.
They see life as complex and they distrust simple solutions. They will look at Christianity as one of the many options that can be considered in a world in which they see each person as finding his or her own truth and meaning. The movement from modernity to postmodernity in America began with the Baby Boomers.
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Born between and , this was the first generation raised under the threat of nuclear weapons. Boomers knew in their guts that science had created a demon that could destroy the world. In the s, they observed the unmasking of the entrenched racism, sexism and militarism that pervaded American culture. And they reacted to it with protests and social action.
The only authority figures that they trusted were assassinated—first John Kennedy in , and then Martin Luther King, Jr. In all of these issues they saw the traditional church as a complicit conspirator with the prevailing societal powers in a culture of rigid moralism, oppression and violence. The Baby Boom generation began a search for a more authentic faith, away from authoritarian religion and toward experiential spirituality.
Their suspicion towards pre-packaged truths of religious institutions led them to seek spirituality in many new forms—charismatic Christianity, Eastern religions, and New Age spirituality.
When the Baby Boomers had children, their sons and daughters exhibited the same characteristics—but to an even greater degree.