多元时代的宗教多元主义

本笃十六世当选教皇和全球反恐战争使人们开始空前关注宗教在我们这个世界里扮演的角色。人们特别感兴趣的是,具体的宗教传统能否与自由民主的制度与价值观兼容(尤其是伊斯兰教这种情况)。但是,把注意力全部集中到人们信仰、奉行的是什么上,却造成了对另一个问题的忽视,即人们是怎样来信仰和奉行宗教戒律的?比起前者来,这一问题的潜在重要性要大得多的。

很多人—特别是神学家—担心我们现在是生活在一个世俗化时代,尽管有大量的证据表明,事实正好相反。我们的时代远非世俗化的时代,而是个宗教热情大爆发的时代。论虔诚,现代社会不比以前任何历史时期逊色,在某些地方,甚至有过之而无不及。

一个例外是地理上的:在欧洲中西部地区,宗教严重衰落,这已经成了欧洲文化身份的一个重要成分。另一个例外是社会学上的,包括国际知识界的一部分,这部分人数虽然相对不多,但是影响力很大。对他们来说,世俗化已经不仅仅是

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