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Faith and Modernity Lecture 2 Religious Responses to Modernity.

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1 Faith and Modernity Lecture 2 Religious Responses to Modernity

2 Current IoE Survey – published in an 2015 (9000 espondents) 25% of Britons think religion is a force for good in society (some believers included in this category 60% of women and 35% of men believed there was a life after death 54% of men and 34% of women claimed to be agnostic or atheist No doubts experienced – 16% Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterian and URC; 33% Roman Catholics; 71% Evangelicals; 88% Muslims

3 ITN Poll 24% think religion is a force for good in the world 39% think Christianity is a force for good in the world. (Autumn 2014)

4 Religion and Reason Salman Rushdie – ‘Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weapons, becomes a real threat to our freedoms’ John McDade (theologian) – ‘I stand with Rushdie in disbelief at what is done in the name of belief, but if there is a way forward it can only be by strengthening the bond between religion and reason, not by consigning religion to the category of unreason and locking religious believers inside an imaginary castle of nonsense’ The Tablet 24/1/15


6 Religious Responses to Modernity 1 Religious ferment since the Enlightenment; some examples 2 Religious resistance to modernity (Fundamentalism) 3 Religious adaptation to modernity 4 Some thoughts on Coventry Cathedral

7 1 Religious ferment since the Enlightenment; some examples John Wesley; Joanna Southcott; Muggletonians Joseph Smith; Mormons Miracles and apparitions Lourdes (1858); Bernadette Soubirous [] Fatima, Portugal (1917) Medjugorje, Bosnia (1981- present) []

8 Sites of Pilgrimage Taizé, France [] Mecca – Haj Kumbh Mela Festival [] mela-millions-gather-for-hindu-festival

9 Recent Cultic Activity: A Challenge to Enlightenment Values 1960s ‘New Age’ of Aquarius – hippy inspiration Beatles – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Transcendental Meditation 1968/9 Charles Manson – ‘Manson Family’ – Pacific Palisades – Spahn Movie Ranch – Murders at 10050 Cielo Drive – Film star Sharon Tate (wife of Roman Polanskii) and others 1978 Jim Jones – People’s Temple, San Francisco – mass suicide of 900 members in Jonestown, Guyana 18/11/1978 1997 Heaven’s Gate Cult San Diego March 24/5/6 39 suicides (18 men 21 women) to release their souls to join a UFO concealed behind Hale-Bopp comet Among first to utilize web for cultic ends, based on astrology. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) 1931-90 1970s based in Pune, India Eventually 300,000 visitors per year to stay in the ashram. Mixture of therapy, encounter groups, violence and sex 1981-5 moves to Oregon, takes over town of Antelope renames it Rajneeshpuram, home to thousands of, mostly Anglo-Saxon, western followers known as Sanyassin. Explosion between local community and the newcomers – shootings, bioterrorism (contaminating local salad bars with salmonella, 750 reported ill) Movement of escapism, immediacy of living life to the full. (quotes) Bhagwan blessed by his grateful followers with no less than 93 Rolls Royces

10 Religious resistance to modernity (Fundamentalism) Pope Pius IX Syllabus of Errors (1864) Doctrine of Papal Infallibility (1871) Vatican Council Action Française Le Pen Archbishop Lefebre Lateran Accords (1929) Kulturkampf (Prussia 1871-1878) Pope Leo XIII Rerum Novarum (1891) Christian Democracy primacy of the spiritual opposition to all materialisms (capitalism/liberalism/socialism/ communism/rationalism) concern for material welfare of poor and oppressed responsibilities of property holding (stewardship) as well as rights

11 Protestant Fundamentalism Protestant resistance more tied up with anti-Darwinism Scopes trial 1925 – Clarence Darrow; William Jennings Bryan (later U.S. Secretary of State) to contemporary creationists and ‘Intelligent Design’ 1920 ‘those ready to do battle for the Fundamentals of Protestantism’ – Baptist newspaper. 1910 Presbyterian Definition of Fundamentalism Biblical inerrancy Virgin Birth of Jesus Jesus died to redeem humanity from sin Bodily resurrection of Jesus Authenticity of miracles

12 Fundamentalism in the Middle East Shari’a law Fatwas Jihad 1977 Fall of Israeli Labour Party 1979 overthrow of Shah of Iran replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini 1979 election of President Reagan 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan - US funds militants in Peshawar including one Osama bin Laden Islamic modernisers Kemal Ataturk (Turkey 1920s) Nasser (Egypt 1950s) Anti-imperialist religious rebellions Shamil (Caucasus 1850s) Mahdi (Sudan 1890s) Indian Mutiny (1857) Tai’ping (1860s) and Boxer (1900-1) rebellions in China Amritsar massacre (1919)

13 Adaptation From Biblical literalism to Bible analysis Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) Christian Palaeontology Pope John XXIII and Vatican II (early 1960s) Death of God theology – from transcendence to immanence Liberation Theology

14 Some thoughts on Coventry Cathedral Finally a few points about Coventry Cathedral notably 1. Its inconspicuous location; (argument over its reconstruction) 2. Its iconic status, along with the ruins, as a centre of peace and reconciliation 3. Its modernity of materials –glass screen; the tapestry design; light and airy interior; the Epstein bronze of St Michael and the Dragon combined with 4. A very traditional, neo-gothic feel – long, high nave, traditional shape. Who lives in a house like this?

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