What is the function of religion in the society?

Visit count: 503    Category: Religion, Modernism and Development         
Since there is contrast between modern society and religion as two separate components; hence, each offers distinctive ideologies which do not conform to each other`s values and they are not bonded together because man is in pursuit of discovering material phenomena to exploit worldly pleasures according to modern ideology. But man cares for perfection and truthful felicity according to religious ideology. According to religious ideology, man views material phenomena as means for perfection and sublimity of his soul. If modern society is viewed as an ideal society, such a society does not offer any chance for religion to play role. Henceforth, religion does not play a role in molding societies for contrastive nature of these two components in respect to one another in modern societies whose cradle is the West, and the administration of the society is taken over by secular governments. However, many scholars in the West criticize modern societies and believe these societies are stagnantly pursuing the decadence path. For instance, David Bell, outstanding American sociologist and among post-modernist Americans believes religion needs to come back to societies as modernism has failed. He believes the revival of religion is the only solution for the crisis of modernity. In his opinion, faith and belief in a bond with a firm conviction to tradition lead to clear identities of people and their safety. The school of post-modernism from nihilism of Nietzsche to religious revival of David Bell struggle against modern society. The criticism fits modern society since components of modernity fails to provide answers to phenomena and man`s problems. The jurisdiction of instrumental intellect and empirical science is limited to natural environment and their ultimate function is the explanation and interpretation of material phenomena and desirable exploitation of natural resources. Is all mankind`s attention exclusively paid only to material world. Does modern world provide a reasonable answer to basic questions of mankind regarding the genesis of creation as well as its destination. Thousands of similar questions are still unanswered in the modern world. However, religion is able to provide answers to questions of this world falling back upon its teachings and nurturing epistemological insights. Religion is able to relieve turbulent mind of modern mankind. Defining human as having two dimensions including natural and metaphysical ones, religion introduces body as the shell and the soul as the essence. It attributes mankind`s felicity and perfection to its attention to spiritual demands. Religion guides mankind towards felicity through ways of perfection. Religion secures a deep bond between humans and God and the Resurrection. Thereof, it assures the execution of ethics concerning social and individual obligations and prohibitions by a faithful person without any external supervision. This bond is such intense that some consider religion on a par with ethics. As such, modern society can overcome moral, social and epistemological crisis which has led to nihilism and decadence through reconsideration of its components, and striking a balance between them as well as exploiting religious teachings so that it can pursue the path of felicity and perfection.


Source: Translation by: AhlulBayt News Agency (a.s) ( Please refer to the text`s Persian version in order to view footnotes of this question and answer.

The opinions expressed in this text do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher

Comment Text