In a world plagued by religious conflict, how can the various religious and secular traditions coexist peacefully on the planet? And, what role does sociology play in helping us understand the state of religious life in a globalizing world? In the Fourth Edition of Gods in the Global Village, author Lester Kurtz continues to address these questions. This text is an engaging, thought-provoking examination of the relationships among the major faith traditions that inform the thinking and ethical standards of most people in the emerging global social order. Thoroughly updated to reflect recent events, the book discusses the role of religion in our daily lives and global politics, and the ways in which religion is both an agent of, and barrier to, social change.
Chapter 5: The Religious Ethos
The Religious Ethos
The future of the global human community depends in large measure on the ability of humanity to forge a common ethos out of current competing traditions. The major religious traditions continue to provide guidelines for the way most people believe they should live their lives—the ethical bases for both the individual and the collective life of a society. Every social order must produce a set of ethical standards that facilitates peaceful coexistence, and the emerging global village is no exception. To understand the complex issues surrounding this ethos construction, I will explore the way in which it is carried out in contemporary societies as well as the ethical inheritance provided by the major religious traditions.
Constructing a Religious Ethos
A people’s ...