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Document Details :

Title: The Future of Religion and the Religion of the Future
Author(s): VAN DER VEKEN, Jan
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 64    Issue: 2   Date: 2003   
Pages: 129-143
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.64.2.836

Abstract :
This article concentrates on a number of publications such as Marcel Gauchet, Le Désenchantement du monde. Une histoire politique de la religion, Paris, Gallimard 1984. Luc Ferry, L'homme-Dieu ou le sens de la vie (Paris, Grasset 1996), Gianni Vattimo, Credere di credere, Garanti Editore 1996. Gabriel Ringlet, Evangile d’un libre penseur. Dieu serait-il laïque? Paris, Albin Michel 1998. All these books are concerned with the theme of secularization. Gauchet's eminal book sees Christianity as “the religion of the exit of religion”. This means that Christianity itself has been the main influence in changing the very relationship between the Infinite and the finite, between God and the world. In stressing the divine Transcendence, the world becomes fully autonomous. Ferry recognizes the impact of Christianity on contemporary culture. Christianity is not just the religion of the incarnation of God; it is also the religion of the divinization of man. According to Ferry, contemporary humanism has many transcendental traits which are derived from its roots in Christianity. The author thinks that there is large support for the idea that Christianity and contemporary humanism are not so opposed to oneanother as many have thought. It might rather be the case that those two phenomena are sides of the same coin, at a different period of critical awareness. It would follow from this that (christian) religion can only survive if it takes far more seriously the challenges addressed by it by contemporary humanism, and starts to see in it not so much its opposite as its ally. All this is the result of a major shift in the very meaning of the word “God” in Christianity as the religion of the Incarnation.