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July 01 , 2010


Musings at the Juncture of Faith and Culture in the 21st Century


How does faith impact culture? What influence does culture have on faith? These questions might seem academic, limited to university religion or philosophy classes, until we look at the morning headlines or listen to the evening newscasts. Our lives are invaded daily by stories of extremists with yet another suicide bombing, or protests for of against reproductive rights, or scientific discoveries raising questions about the creation of the universe – all based on conflicting faith commitments. Like it or not, these faith/culture questions are part of all of our lives. In this book, six writers explore the juncture of faith and different dimensions of 21st century cultures. The words faith and culture are dynamic, not static. Over time they take on new meanings. In the Christian tradition, for centuries faith meant the total life of a follower of Jesus. But in the last three centuries of the Enlightenment, many have come to see faith as a rational set of beliefs that are often separated from the way a person lives. In the chapters of this book there is an effort to describe faith as a way of life that sometimes supports current dimensions of culture, and sometimes opposes them. Since faith is a personal response to God, there are as many different expressions of faith as there are people. Instead of seeing this as a problem, each of our writers presents the juncture of faith and culture from their own personal experience and we are all enriched by the differences. In this book we see the process of current cultures changing, being shaped in new ways at least in part by faith communities. Being aware of these changes makes it possible for each of us to join our writers to be a part of the change we seek in our world instead of being victims of forces beyond our control.
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