Faith and religion:
Choose any four questions.
1) Some journalists and politicians chose to situate the Charlie Hebdo killings within the narrative of a ‘clash of cultures’ between Western and Islamic civilisations. Others argued that such a reading of the situation is incorrect and dangerous. Opinion-makers, they said, have a responsibility to choose their words carefully and should seek to bring people together and not drive them further apart.
Look up at least TWO articles/speeches/cartoon strips that were published after the killings. One should argue that we have a clash of cultures on our hands, the other should argue against this. Analyse their representation of the issues involved and then try and situate yourself in this debate.
2) According to the authors of God Is Back, why is Europe more secular than the USA? In your opinion, is globalisation likely to change this any time soon?
3) Define religious pluralism, and write a couple of paragraphs exploring at least TWO challenges religious pluralism presents to ONE of these Western democracies: the UK, the USA, France. How does your chosen democracy handle this religious pluralism, and to what extent is their strategy working?
4) In chapter 8 of her book, Sharon Delgado argues both that human institutions like corporations and political parties have taken on a life of their own and that they are concerned with their own survival rather than with the well-being of the planet and human beings. To what extent do you find her religious interpretation of the problems of capitalism persuasive? Give reasons for your answer.
5) In Ch 6 of their book, Micklethwait and Wooldridge argue that American religion has a ‘competitive advantage’ over European-style religion. What do they mean, and to what extent do you agree with their analysis? Make sure you include an analysis of the phenomenon of the ‘megachurch’ in your answer