To begin, after watching a sermon on the sanctuary, I picked up a National Geographic Magazine entitled: "The Birth of Religion: The World's first temple". In it, I read an article by Mann (2011) who discusses how historians are now theorizing that human civilization is largely the result of religion and human desire to worship. In general, from reading the article I also draw the conclusion that the need to worship is the foundation of society and community. We organize community and society around worship and based on our need to worship.
In his own words, Mann (2011) states:
Through primitive religious practices - burying the dead, creating cave art and figurines- organized religion arose...when a common vision of a celestial order was needed to bind together...big new, fragile groups of humankind (p. 56-57).In addition, the point is also made that it takes religion to sustain both politics and economy (or political economy). Mann also acknowledges that:
Villages would be more likely to accomplish [their] aims if their members were committed to...collective enterprise. (p.56)Mann also argues that organized religion
helped justify the social hierarchy that emerged in...complex society. Those who rose to power were seen as having special connection with the gods. Communities of the faithful, united in a common view of the world and their place in it were more cohesive than ordinary clumps of quarreling people (p.57).Jumping across to the next reading, the book on Management based on Luke's Gospel by Bruno Dyck, I also read
People simply do not have enough willpower to break free from oppressive structures..., especially when those structures reward them with self-interested material and social benefits. People need transcendent revelation and help to develop and implement [new] structures and systems. (p.115-116)For me, putting all these together, gives me a picture of why it is difficult to change the status quo. First of all, everything that we know exist today was not possible without the intervention of God or the "gods", and so much is at stake when one wishes to challenge the structures that exist, no matter how oppressive. I see in this the Jewish Passover story, where the Israelites could not break free from Egyptian oppression except through the intervention of God through his servant Moses.
Further, another principle is that religion now today perceived as being very divisive terrain, was once used to bring people together in order to achieve great feats. I believe that in the future, there will be a one world religion that will seek to unite civilization and all human beings. However, we are warned in the Bible that there will be two such global religions, one false and one true. However, that is the subject of another post.
Dyck, B. (2013). Management and the gospel: Luke's radical message for the first and twenty-first centuries. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mann, C. C. (2011, June). Birth of Religion: Turkey's 11,600-year-old pillars reflect a surprising new theory about the origins of worship. National Geographic, 34-59.
Can also be retrieved at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/gobekli-tepe/mann-text/1#close-modal