Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The End of Christianity?

A provocative article from the Guardian.
The most recent British Social Attitudes data shows that “No religion” is now by far the largest single identificationin England and Wales. It is very nearly half the adult population, and more that twice the proportion who self-identify as Anglican....
The author proposes some reasons.
Over the last 50 years “religion” has come to stand for the opposite of freedom and fairness. This is partly an outcome of the sexual revolution and of the long and ultimately futile resistance to it mounted by mainstream denominations. “The religious” now appear to young people as obscurantist bigots whose main purpose is to police sexuality, especially female sexuality, in the service of incomprehensible doctrines. Institutional resistance to the rights of women and of gay people was an exceptionally stupid strategy for institutions that depends on the labour of both. But the Church of England was so much a part of the old imperial state that life in post-imperial Britain was never going to be easy.

It’s hard to see a route back for normative Christianity.....
And what will we lose?
This century will be one in which humanity faces gigantic challenges, brought about by our own success in colonising the planet. Global warming and the still present threat of nuclear destruction both need a sense of global solidarity to overcome, and a vision of humanity that transcends narrow self-interest. If Christianity no longer can supply that, what will?
Well, I would argue that a vision of humanity that transcends self-interest is not de facto Christian.  And in a climate where so-called Christians are supporting Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and their shenanigans, what IS normative Christianity?


8thday said...

Truth is, I have no idea of what “Christianity” is. I googled how many Christian denomination there are and got an answer of 41,000. Each, of course, with their own views and policies and confidence that they are closest to Biblical and Gospel teachings. They may all sit under the same “Christian” umbrella but there is a huge difference between Unitarians and Southern Baptists. Is Christianity dead? Probably not. But it is so splintered and diluted that it should probably be called something else. When someone labels themselves a “Christian” I have no idea what that label means to them. I know what it means to me and it’s generally not positive. Did Christianity EVER supply a vision of humanity that transcends narrow self-interest? Normative Christianity? Was there ever such a thing?

IT said...

Exactly! Probably every sect thinks they define normative...!