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When Religion Is Not What it Used to Be : The Changing Meaning of Religion in Western History and What it Means for Us (Yamin Cheng)
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When Religion Is Not What it Used to Be : The Changing Meaning of Religion in Western History and What it Means for Us (Yamin Cheng)

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By Yamin Cheng. In the course of Western history, ‘Religion’ came to occupy a variety of meanings. During the time of Christendom (4th-16th centuries CE), religion was basically Christianity. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, religion bore another meaning besides Christianity. This was Natural Religion or Deism. From the 19thcentury onwards, religion is viewed as a product arising out of the psychological, sociological, and economic conditions of human beings. It is human beings who give birth to religion.

 

The changing meaning of religion in Western history brought consequences that were felt not only by Western people. Secularism, a ramification of this development, was coming into the tradition and civilization of non-Western societies. Muslim societies, for instance, saw secularism as a threat to their religion, tradition, and civilization. While not denying that the West had given the world many wondrous accomplishments in science and technology, Muslim societies were cautious about what implications secularism could bring upon their worldview and values.

 

This book purports to give an overview of what happened to religion in the course of Western history, and what that means to people living in modern times like us today, in a world characterized by Western civilization. AS Noordeen (2012), Paperback: 142 pages.

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