The Return to the Sacred

By: Esther Rodríguez Losada  

Daniel Bell, an American Jewish sociologist, explains how the attempt to justify the meaning of life through other instances different from religion, has turned out not to be enough. In the last two centuries there has been a decline of religious belief, due to capitalism and the presuppositions of modern culture, among other reasons. Either because it fragments existential unity and disintegrates man into three manifestation spheres: techno-economic, political and cultural, each of them governed by autonomous principles and without the possibility of a unitary sense; or because it seeks an immanent hold on the world based on the idolatry of the "I." The man, in the attempt to give himself meaning, has fallen into nihilism, where he does not find criteria to guide his action beyond individual experience which, far from allowing him to judge his actions with meaning, weakens social ties. Because of that, he proposes a return to the sacred through a resurrection of the memory, that is, to go back on the issues and "cultural universals" faced by the existing consciousness and provide a complete and concrete worldview that places the man in the world and gives him parameters of sense and meaning for his behavior. Bell's vision of religion will be examined and it will be determined if this vision ends up immanently reducing itself into culture or if, on the contrary, it is able to free itself from modern presuppositions and place itself over culture.

Religion, Modern Culture, Cultural Universals, Sacred, Daniel Bell
The Politics of Religion
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Esther Rodríguez Losada

Student, Philosophy Faculty, University of Navarra, Spain