Saturday, April 09, 2005

What is "secular culture"?

Secular often hear that phrase in regards to change in society. It has been especially visible these days in light of the media coverage of the Pontiff's death. They talk about how western societies are losing their uniqueness (read religion) by becoming "secularized". This is particularly referred to Western Europe that has seen a dramatic drop in church attendance with people not identifying so much with their erstwhile faith. So what exactly is this? In my opinion, it is really the realization at a deeper level that the current interpretation of the Judeo-Christian theology does not resonate with most reasonably cognisant individuals. The inconsistencies and corruptions have made it a phantom faith that probably does not provide the sustenance that people are looking for. This is also a reflection of the materialistic flavor of these societies (which incidentally the Church was/is (?) a part of for hundreds of years) that in some ways people are trying to come to terms with as they see how it is eroding their culture and way of life. The real spiritual truths that would have helped humans deal with rapid modernization and not lose perspective were not espoused by the fathers of the Church, either because their "message" was lost on them or because they were methodically discouraged as irrelevant to most peoples' lives. The secularization is in a way an attempt by society to find what it is looking for and is not obtaining in its traditional faith-based practices. I personally do not think it is something to fear, only to encourage as it will likely force the western faiths to really dig deep and find true spiritual wisdom that is buried deep in their scripture and bring it to fore. That will have enormous impact on the way society moves ahead in the future.


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