Religion for EveryoneThe First Church Of Starbucks...No really!
Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:59 AM
The decline of religion in the West has brought a decline in community spirit. Could the secular world draw useful lessons from religious life? Alain de Botton offers new ways to find shared meaning.
ALAIN DE BOTTON
One of the losses that modern society feels most keenly is the loss of a sense of community. We tend to imagine that there once existed a degree of neighborliness that has been replaced by ruthless anonymity, by the pursuit of contact with one another primarily for individualistic ends: for financial gain, social advancement or romantic love.
In attempting to understand what has eroded our sense of community, historians have assigned an important role to the privatization of religious belief that occurred in Europe and the U.S. in the 19th century. They have suggested that we began to disregard our neighbors at around the same time that we ceased to honor our gods as a community.
This raises two questions: How did religion once enhance the spirit of community? More practically, can secular society ever recover that spirit without returning to the theological principles that were entwined with it? I, for one, believe that it is possible to reclaim our sense of community—and that we can do so, moreover, without having to build upon a religious foundation.
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While watching the video I highly recommend a very large glass of whiskey
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