srijeda, 19. svibnja 2010.

Harold Coward - Sin and Salvation in the World Religions: A Short Introduction

It’s unusual for a religion to treat this world and this life as good things that we should enjoy. These days, at any rate, it seems much more common for religions to lament the evil and hopelessness we experience and offer some sort of future release that will take us to an existence where everything will be better. It is in this diagnosis of the “human condition” and the preference for some future solution where religions tend to have a great deal in common. As a matter of fact, this may be one of the most important aspects of religion that a student or scholar can focus on. There are all sorts of claims as to what constitutes the irreducible ground of “religion,” distinguishing it from all other aspects of human culture, but most of them fail miserably. The one possible candidate for this, and something that most amateur analyses tend to ignore, is the drive for transcendence.
Whether new or traditional, theistic or atheistic, naturalistic or supernaturlastic, the one thing that seems to drive most religions is the idea there is something wrong/inadequate/awful about this world that we can and must strive to overcome. It isn’t simply a matter of helping justice triumph over injustice, however; instead, it’s a matter of overcoming this very existence itself: one strives for heaven, nirvana, or perhaps another planet entirely.

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