By Lester R. (Ray) Kurtz
In a global affected by spiritual clash, how can some of the non secular and secular traditions coexist peacefully in the world? And, what position does sociology play in supporting us comprehend the country of spiritual lifestyles in a globalizing global? In the Fourth Edition ofGods within the worldwide Village, writer Lester Kurtz keeps to handle those questions. this article is an interesting, thought-provoking exam of the relationships one of the significant religion traditions that tell the considering and moral criteria of most folks within the rising international social order. completely up to date to mirror contemporary occasions, the publication discusses the function of faith in our day-by-day lives and worldwide politics, and the ways that faith is either an agent of, and barrier to, social change.
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Additional resources for Gods in the Global Village: The World’s Religions in Sociological Perspective
In fact, both theoretical frameworks are themselves based on metaphors. The idea that cultural knowledge can be described in terms of quasi theories which people somehow store in their memories is based on an analogy between scientific or other forms of explicit theories, of which we know very little, and mental representations, of which we know even less. Explicit theories are publicly available, externally represented sets of propositions. When we say that some cultural representations constitute a theoretical schema for a certain domain, it is not really clear to what extent we want to pursue the metaphor in describing private represen tations: for instance, it is not clear whether we should take for granted that all features of external theories will be relevant for internal represen tations.
Bateson, for instance ( 1 972), tried to define ritual 'frames'29 as essentially comparable to animal or human play, that is, as contexts which provide both messages and 'meta-messages' about the interpretation of the message. This, however, does not take into account the obvious intuitive differences between pretence and ritual, notably what Rappaport ( 1 974) calls 'the certainty of meaning' in the latter case. Rituals simply have cognitive effects that do not arise in play situations. 30 What we must account for are the specific properties of the ritual 'frame', that is what distinguishes such situations from human play, on the one hand, and from animal forms of play and ritual, on the other.
What is conveyed by the simile is that ghosts are essentially intangible, elusive, and shadows provide the best example of an intangible or elusive reality, yet tied to personal identity. This interpretation is supported by two series of facts: first, the elusiveness and intangibility of ghosts is a recurrent theme in Fang discourse about these entities; also, while Fang people are typically confident that 'one's shadow becomes a ghost', they are rather uncertain about what happens to a mind, or about such technical details as the problem of having shadows with mental capacities.