The Future of Religion
Date: Friday, November 17 @ 17:52:06 UTC
Topic: Religion

It seems COOL is way ahead, riding a new wave of interest in religion.  Here's an article that discusses the future of religion, and the same idea that COOL expouses - Creating your own religion!

Religion is in
Marijke van den Berg

People in the Netherlands can once again own up to their religion although the nature of that religion is increasingly becoming an individual choice.

In their book De Toekomst van God (The Future of God) trend-watcher Adjiedj Bakas and journalist Minne Buwalda predict that an increasing number of people will put together their own "hodge-podge god".

At the same time, it's young people who are turning back to orthodox religion, according to The future of God.

While churches are emptying in the Netherlands, Bakas and Buwalda are saying that religion is back. More than just back: religion in the 21st century going to become increasingly important, says Buwalda.

"The traditional forms of faith are indeed on the decrease. People are looking for different ways to experience religion and are shopping round to create their own God."

Hodge-podge God
A good example of a hodge-podge God is the belief in reincarnation. Buwalda says:
"Reincarnation comes from Indian religions, like Hinduism and Buddhism, but research reveals that 50 percent of people in the Netherlands believe in it. That includes a lot of Christians although it is not among the official teachings of the church."

That does not always mean that religion has become more superficial nowadays in Buwalda's eyes.
"There are some people who do go reli-shopping and are not prepared to sacrifice anything for their religion. To them it is just another commodity. But many people are really seeking spiritual truth."

Spiritual symbolism
To see that religion is experiencing a comeback, you just have to take a look at gift shops, where spiritual symbolism has become a commercial commodity, according to the authors. Maria statues are on the shelf next to Hindu scented candles and Buddhist prayer flags are sold alongside crucifixes.

Spiritual top 5

1. Islam, mainly in big cities
2. Orthodoxy, mainly among young people
3. Charismatic churches such as the Pentecostal church
4. Hodge-podge God - mixed forms of religions
5. Buddhism among Europe's elite
Young people in particular find religious symbols trendy. Nevertheless, Bakas claims these religious objects are more than just a fad. He believes the current mixing of beliefs has resulted from globalisation. "Many people think the world is changing too quickly," says Bakas.

"People long for the old-fashioned security God used to provide in the old days, but at the same time they want to shape God into something that meets today's demands, and matches their experience of other religions and cultures. What you see is everyone is finding their own form of belief. Religion has become individualised."

Religious mega-trends

1. Religion is increasingly becoming a personal choice
2. Orthodoxy is on the rise
3. Religion and spirituality are back in politics
4. Increased influence of (new) media on religious beliefs
5. Religion is becoming more commercial
6. Believers are seeking intense religious experiences
7. People are putting together their own God
Orthodox young people
Nevertheless, Bakas and Buwalda say some young people are reaching back to orthodox forms of religion precisely because their parents have liberated themselves from religion. Bakas says:

"The last generation shook off religion in the sixties. Their children grew up without religious dogmas. Now young people are choosing orthodoxy as a reaction to their upbringing. But they are doing it in their own way, for example in their own youth churches or during religious festivals. They are looking for god and meaning in the masses."


This article comes from Community of One Love

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