Essay on Recent Trends in Religion

The humanist makes no attempt to shove the responsibility for the miserable conditions of human life onto some God or some cosmic order. He fully realises that the situation is in our own hands and that practically all the evils of the world have been brought up by men by themselves”.

Humanism, it may be said, represents an attempt to divorce religion from supernaturalism. It tries to secularise and socialise it completely. Humanism actually is not at all different from other idealistic social reform movements. Many will doubt whether it can be called p religion.

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The trend towards the socialisation and secularisation of religion is there no doubt. Religious leaders are advo­cating greater participation by the Church in meeting social problems and Concentration upon the ethical rather than the dogmatic content of religion.

As MacIver has pointed out if religion emerges as a social force above tribal and national egoisms, with the help of science, it will become consistent with a purely moral code and thus be brought into harmony with the needs of life.

As Barnes has pointed out religion adapted to our changed conditions of life is worth preserv­ing and it must seek to organise the masses and guide their activities for the benefit of society rather than for the purpose of pleasing the God.

It is doubtful whether an institution which has been de­voted to the supernatural can be changed into one dedicated to furthering the welfare and happiness of mankind here on earth.

It is highly questionable, wrote Barnes, that a religion with a mass appeal can exist without elements of mystery and fear dominating. It is equally doubtful whether a religion exists without dogma and ritual.

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