Postmodernism

Evaluate postmodernist explanations of the role and functions of religion in contemporary society. Postmodernist religion can be defined as any type of religion that is influenced, interpreted or shaped by postmodernism and postmodern philosophies. Postmodern religion is not an attempt to banish religion from society; rather, it is a philosophical approach to religion that considers orthodox assumptions that may reflect power differences in society rather than universal truths. A postmodern interpretation of religion emphasises the key point that religious truth is highly individualistic, subjective and resides within the individual. Science technology and efficiency would overcome many social problems. The collapse of the ‘grand-narrative’ is part of post-modernism as it is a belief system that claims universal authority, religion; science and philosophies are examples of these. They have a superior status over other belief systems and also claimed they could explain the causes of society’s problems and could therefore provide solutions. According to Jean-Francois Lyotard, the grand-narratives powerful attraction has been lost during the 20th century. So, science hasn’t delivered solutions, wars have devastated nations, and the world is still full of evils that the grand-narratives can’t explain or resolve. Examples of this are world wars; nuclear warfare; AIDS and global poverty. The common perspective of post-modernist religion is ‘there is a god who can’t do anything, there is a god who won’t do anything, or there isn’t a god.’ Zygmunt Bauman said post-modernity is the irretrievable loss of trust in the project of modernity and its ability to manage, enhance and fulfil human potential. Symbols, signs and meanings are also another theory to post-modernism. Mass media like television and the internet have exposed us all to different cultures and ideas from across the globe, also known as globalisation. The ‘meanings’ of things have now become…

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