Volume 22, Issue 2, 2012
Civilization and Religion
The Function of Religion in Civilization
Lights and Shadows
The article defends the view that the role of traditional religions in civilization is ambiguous—at once positive and negative. Religions teach their faithful basic ethics, but they do it in an authoritative manner without consideration for the moral autonomy of the conscience nor the situational aspects of moral choices. They propagate “soft” social attitudes like forgiveness, compassion and peace but are also a frequent source of serious conflicts. The author seeks the reasons behind the dissonances which religion brings into civilization.