Religion in the Digital Age | esse arts + opinions

Religion in the Digital Age

83 - 2018

The regime under which religion—any religion—functions in contemporary secular, democratic Western societies is freedom of belief. After the victory of the Enlightenment, faith became a private affair. Freedom of belief means that everybody is free to believe what he or she chooses to believe, and also that everybody is free to organize his or her personal, private life according to his or her beliefs. But at the same time it means that it is forbidden to impose one's own faith on public life and state institutions. The work of the Enlightenment resulted not in the complete disappearance of the religion but in its privatization, its withdrawal into the private sphere. Under the conditions of the contemporary secularized world, religion has become a matter of private taste—it functions in a way that is analogous to the functioning of art and design. […]

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