Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Britain is trying to do something that no society has really done

The former director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor has made a series for BBC Radio 4 about how religion has shaped society. 
In a very interesting interview in the Daily Telegraph he says:

“In a sense, we are a very unusual society. We are trying to do something that no society has really done. We are trying to live without an agreed narrative of our communal place in the cosmos and in time,” MacGregor said.

Asked if he was referring to the disappearance of religious faith from people’s lives in Britain, he replied: “Yes, exactly that. As a country, we no longer have an agreed narrative of that sort. It’s where we are.
“Our society is, not just historically but in comparison to the rest of the world today, a very, very unusual one in being like that. We are exceptional. It’s important to know that we are different.” The change began in the 1960s, he said, and “it does mean we have changed very profoundly”.

I am not sure Britain is alone though in living without an agreed religious faith or culture. According to Justin Trudeau Canada does not have a mainstream culture. Increasingly nor do other Western countries. The USA and Eastern Europe are very different and still have Christian cultures.

1 comment:

  1. " The USA and Eastern Europe are very different and still have Christian cultures."

    Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe

    Today, solid majorities of adults across much of the region say they believe in God, and most identify with a religion.

    Across the countries where Orthodox Christians make up a majority, a
    median of 70% say it is important to be Orthodox to truly share the
    national identity of their country (e.g., that one must be Russian
    Orthodox to be “truly Russian,” or Greek Orthodox to be “truly
    Greek”). By comparison, a median of 57% in the four Catholic-majority
    countries say this about being Catholic. (Fewer people in Western
    Europe – for example, 23% in France and 30% in Germany – say being
    Christian is very or somewhat important to their national identity.)

    In addition, people living in predominantly Orthodox countries are
    more inclined than others in the region to say their culture “is
    superior to others” and to describe themselves as “very proud” of
    their national identity.

    Today, many Orthodox Christians – and not only Russian Orthodox
    Christians – express pro-Russia views. Most see Russia as an important
    buffer against the influence of the West, and many say Russia has a
    special obligation to protect not only ethnic Russians, but also
    Orthodox Christians in other countries.

    Key findings of the Pew Research Center survey, which was conducted from June 2015 to July 2016 through face-to-face interviews in 17 languages with more than 25,000 adults ages 18 and older in 18 countries.