Most of the world's faiths are cultural religions. Hinduism, with its caste system and social rituals, is inextricably tied to the culture of India. Islam seeks to apply the Koranic law to every detail of society and so creates a specific culture, as evident throughout the Middle East. Tribal religions mythologize tribes' customs, history, and social organization. Secular sociologists go so far as to define religion as a means of sanctioning the social order. According to this line of thought, cultural institutions are invested with a spiritual, divine significance, so that people will more obediently go along with them.
Gene E. Veith is academic dean at Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, Virginia) and cultural editor for World Magazine.
Issue: "The Effects of Popular Culture on Religion" Jan./Feb. 1997 Vol. 6 No. 1 Page number(s): 15-19
You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. We do not allow reposting an article in its entirety on the Internet. We request that you link to this article from your website. Any exceptions to the above must be explicitly approved by Modern Reformation (email@example.com).
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: This article originally appeared in the [insert current issue date] edition of Modern Reformation and is reprinted with permission. For more information about Modern Reformation, visit www.modernreformation.org or call (800) 890-7556. All rights reserved.