Modernism and Religion

Modernism and Religion

Modernism and Religion

The most acceptable definition of religion is the belief in a God who is a supreme being and all the rituals and teachings associated with that God. Modernism in religion is a movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that sought to interpret the ancient Christian beliefs and practices in relation to the findings of modern science and philosophy. According to Bryan Wilson, Modernism is the gradual process where religious beliefs, practices, and institutions lose their significance in human life. As modern science and logical thinking creep in, religion is believed to be going down the ladder.

With Modernism, there was a significant rise in different cultural trends, and a westernized society was born. It was mainly fueled by rapid industrial growth, which influenced developments all around the world. The introduction of modern science that employed critical measures to study the bible and historical beliefs also steered the rise of modern society.

What ensued was reduced emphasis and a change in perception of the influence that religion has on human life and behavior. Modernism basically focused on improving the lives of people and concentrated on moving forward . It attempts to align religious beliefs and teachings with modern science in an effort to understand and explain reality. Modernists were of the opinion that early biblical writers were influenced by the conditions in ancient times, which has changed significantly with time.

Currently a modernized society, sociology believe that religion was nothing but a hyped illusion that sought to offer refuge and explanation about reality.  However, it came to attention that modernism and religion are not mutually exclusive disciplines. Rudolph Bultmann argues that practicing modern technology contradicts biblical teachings, which is dominated by spiritual beliefs and “miraculous” events. For instance, religious people believed that it is God who created science, and therefore the two can be reconciled. On the other hand, there is evidence that it is, in fact, science and modernism that influenced secularization.

Some people attack modernism because it led to secularization. But there was an evident decrease in church attendance during these “social pressures” which should have motivated the people to attend more religious gatherings. Science has changed religion; Gender inclusivity in the religious institutions is encouraged, and sermons no longer zero in delivering threats of eternal hell for the “sinners.” Modernism has ushered in a new era where the effects of modern science can be felt and seen every day as religious beliefs and practices become less visible. 

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