Modernity and Christianity

Many factors working together have generated interest in modernity and religion. Among these are an increasing consciousness of the many human societies that now exist, an awareness of previous societies recorded in history, and a recognition of the overwhelming variety of cultures associated with them. The constellation of cultural characteristics associated with the modern period is very different from that normally associated with an isolated tribal culture, a medieval peasant society, or a transitional society of the early modern period. To talk of religion is to identify a particular set of cultural attitudes and activities that point to the deep sources of power in a culture, how humans relate to that power, and the corresponding, codified beliefs and behaviors surrounding it. Each concept is highly complex; to discuss the relationship between them compounds the challenge.

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