By Paul Hockings
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Additional info for Encyclopedia of World Cultures, east_and_southeast_asia
Why, in the end, is life worth living? —are the defining essence of our humanity. [These questions] are the determining substance of what makes human beings human. … The conviction that the questions have answers never wavers, however, and this keeps us from giving up on them. Though final answers are unattainable, we can advance toward them as we advance toward horizons that recede with our every step. 13 Kenneth Miller, professor of biology at Brown University, is a celebrated scientist and prolific author whose work explores issues at 38 w h e n re l i g i o n b e c o m e s ev i l the nexus of science and religion.
11 Martin Luther King Jr. also tried to live out the words and vision of Jesus. King found strength in the exemplary life of Gandhi as he, too, faced the oppressive “Christian” forces supporting racial segregation and opposing civil rights. The rigid exclusivism embodied in the view that particular understandings of Christianity contain the only truth, as we will see in the next chapter, is the foundation for a tribalism that will not serve us well in the twenty-first century. Parallel positions can be readily found in Islam and, to a lesser extent, in other major religious traditions.
All religious traditions also provide social organization for their adherents. Religious life is fashioned in relation to the social organization, with moral codes and ethical principles that define appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Religions also offer an analysis of the human predicament, and they outline a path toward the desired goal. The understandings about the human condition are defined differently and the goals are 24 w h e n re l i g i o n b e c o m e s ev i l not the same, but the functional patterns across religious traditions are comparable.
Encyclopedia of World Cultures, east_and_southeast_asia by Paul Hockings