Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Future of Religion

Religion has had many challenges over the last few hundred years and survived them all. Where religion is not compulsory its influence wanes, although the variety of religions flourish. It seems unlikely that religion will completely die out if it has not done so already. It will however change. Many Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of other religions, now see their holy books giving spiritual truth rather than literal truth. This is the only rational choice and allows religion to change with society.

For many people, their psychological needs outweigh rational thought and religion will continue to have a place in their life. Even for these people, however, the influence of the scientific age has an effect on religion regardless of the attempt to reject rationality. Religious groups which succeed most are those that offer strong personal experiences to act as a form of proof. For this reason the Pentacostal movement has been one of the most successful of recent evangelical movements. For this reason also, it is likely that some traditional and well established movements that concentrate on preaching rather than personal experience will continue their decline.

As the influence of organized religion declines, spirituality has become detached from religion and is no longer seen as a purely religious experience. People now seek out experiences that replace the spiritual gap that undoubtedly exists for many when they give up religion. It is more than likely that new religions will continue to emerge. Whether a new religion can become a dominant world view in the way that Christianity was in Europe is impossible to predict but it is unlikely unless it marries its beliefs with a view that is consistent with science and a continuing emergence of truth through the scientific method. What is more likely is that spirituality without creed will continue its growth.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig, your site is so fullfilling it really does have me believing in what i have always believed in and that is myself.
I thoroughlurrourrrryyyy enjoyed reading your efforts and would love to hear lots...thank you dearly.

4:45 PM  

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