Multidimensional Approach to Religion: a way of looking at religious phenomena

Talip Küçükcan

Abstract


Modern societies have by nature a corrosive effect on traditional forms of religious life and lead to decline in the scope and influence of religious institutions and in the popularity of religious beliefs. This article argues that prophecies of traditional secularization theory failed to predict the future of religion in the contemporary world. Although modernity caused a degree of rupture between religion and society, there has also been a global revival of religion in the last two or three decades. In order to understand the transformation of religion and its comeback, various manifestations and expressions of religion must be analyzed. This article shows that religion is a multidimensional phenomenon. One’s acceptance of and position towards a supernatural being, towards an ultimate reality and its manifestations involve a multidimensional process that includes attitudes, beliefs, emotions, experiences, rituals, and community and belonging. This article concludes that a multidimensional approach to religion, if revised and re-developed by taking into account the varieties and specificities of Islam, can help us better understand the Muslim world, enable us to make cross-cultural comparisons about the status of religions, and finally to equip us to make better predictions about the future of religion.

Keywords


religion, secularization, modernity, revival of religions, religious experience, Islam

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