Religion and the Masses

Religion and the Masses - Religion and the Masses by Marco...

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Religion and the Masses by Marco Mujica IDH 2120, Valencia Community College Professor Frame 13 Nov. 2007
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Mujica Religion and the Masses Religion has been a cornerstone of civilization since the beginning of history. From the anamorphic rituals of the ancient Egyptians to the monotheistic worshiping of modern Christianity, religion has maintained a presence in the foreground of all major cultures. Its influence varies and is subject to much debate. One can only agree that, for most of history, religion has been a driving force in war, politics, morality, science and the arts. As time passes and science answers more questions, modern man has discovered contradictions and different interpretations in the world’s major religions, especially the western-based ones. It is as if civilizations have found a rift between science and religion. What is religion’s role in human existence? Philosophers over the years have created their own theories on this, both controversial and revolutionary. In the 19 th century, two major philosophers developed acute theories on religion’s role, both in sharp contrast from the other. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) wrote Fear and Trembling (1843) in which he explains his vision of the last stage of Man’s development where religious faith is required. Karl Marx (1818-1883) wrote Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (1844) in which he explained his view that religion is a crutch for those alienated by material inequality and that it created a weak community for the people. Both philosophers acknowledged that religion was a major force in our existence, but their opinions were polar opposites. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, the youngest of seven children (Sparks, slide 2). His father, Michael Pedersen , was in constant worry for his soul and his children since, when he was young, he cursed God (slide 3). He also 2
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Mujica impregnated Søren’s mother out of wedlock. For this, Søren’s father believed all his children would die before their 34 th birthday, the age of Jesus Christ when he was crucified (McDonald). In fact, the only siblings that lived past this age were, much to their amazement, Søren and his brother Peter. This Søren Kierkegaard developed and wrote much of his works before his 34 th birthday. Kierkegaard had a very personal, spiritual relationship with God. His devotion lead him to a life of unparallel restraint and self-imposed monastic scholarship. Kierkegaard was a man that “practiced what he
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Religion and the Masses - Religion and the Masses by Marco...

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