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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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2050年の世界

 

The Economist: Megachange: The world in 2050The Economist: Megachange: The world in 2050
(2012/03/22)
The Economist

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2012年に出た本で邦訳も出ていますが、たまたま図書館にあったので読んでみました。経済や技術動向を期待して読んだんですが、一番興味深く読めたのは以下の宗教についての分析でした。ありがたいことにこの章は著者の方が無料公開してくれているみたいです。

9. Believe it or not
Anthony Gottlieb


日本で無宗教と言うのは何ともないですが、少なくとも1980年代ごろまでは無宗教者であると告白することは共産主義者であると同義であったんですよね。そのあたりのことを説明しているところです。どのような体制であるかが国民の信仰に影響を与えてしまうという実情には敏感でありたいです。じゃないと国民の8割がムスリムだという説明を鵜呑みにして、皆が皆ムスリムを心から信仰しているという単純化した理解になりやすいですから。

After Marx and Mao
Most of the places with the highest levels of unbelief – such as France, Scandinavia and Japan, where nearly half or more of the population say they do not believe in God – are not communist or ex-communist states. But the rise and fall of communism in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe greatly complicates the business of charting unbelief. So does China’s communist revolution in 1949 and its government’s increasing tolerance of some religions since Mao’s death in 1976. It is, to put it mildly, a fair bet that many religious believers who lived under an authoritarian and officially atheist regime will not have had their religious beliefs recorded correctly. Similarly, it is only to be expected that many people who grew up with atheist secularism imposed on them will embrace religion once they are permitted to do so, especially if the secular regime was an unpopular one. That is why unbelief seems to have peaked in the 1970s (seeFigure 9.1). According to Todd Johnson, a co-editor of the WRD, the global decline in recorded unbelief in the final four decades of the 20th century is explained by the collapse of communism in the former Soviet bloc. Because some of the people registered as unbelievers will not in fact have been any such thing, the fall in recorded unbelief is to some extent a correction of the figures rather than a reflection of any real change. It is also true, though, that religious belief seems to have genuinely increased in former communist countries. Similarly, an expected decline in atheism and agnosticism in the coming decades (from 11.6% of the global population in 2010 to 7.6% in2050) reflects a rising toleration of religion in China.


国が発展すると世俗化が進むという考えがあるそうですが、アメリカがこの傾向に当てはまらない理由について考えているところが勉強になりました。

According to the secularisation thesis, this trend will continue: religion will eventually weaken as countries develop. But in the past couple of decades, a minority of sociologists have begun to question this idea, mainly because of the apparently anomalous position of the United States, which seems to buck the trend by combining wealth and piety.

日本からだとTea Partyやキリスト教原理主義を類型的に捉えやすいですが、実際には世俗化が進んでいるのではという指摘は興味深いです。Americans continued to pay lip service to religion, but their religion became less religiousと信仰深いポーズを取っていますが、現状は世俗化が進んでいるとしています。その例として礼拝への参加理由が「pleasure」となっていることを挙げています。メガチャーチなんてのもショッピングモール的な感じだと書いている記事もあったのでこのような方向なのかもしれません。

In 1966 Bryan Wilson, a British sociologist of religion, observed that while Europeans had secularised by abandoning churches, Americans had instead secularised their churches. In other words, Americans continued to pay lip service to religion, but their religion became less religious. As Steve Bruce, another British sociologist, shows in his book, Secularization , the focus of American faith has “shifted from the next world to this one and from the glorification of God to the satisfaction of human needs”. Bruce notes that there was a transformation in mainstream American Christianity from around the 1930s as religion began increasingly to be presented as a matter of personal growth. (One of the most influential pioneers of the modern American self-help movement, Norman Vincent Peale, was the minister of one of New York’s biggest churches.)

Perhaps the most telling indication of this shift in American religion is to be found in the reasons people give for attending religious services. According to one study of an American city in the 1920s, the most popular reason given for going to church was that obedience to God required it; but when the study was repeated in 1977, the most popular reason was instead “pleasure”.


このような状況だから、我々が想像するキリスト教原理主義の動きは誇張されたものであり、同性婚が認められるなどキリスト教原理主義は敗北続きなのが現状だとみています。

Non-believers and adherents of liberal denominations tend to be dismayed and baffled by the apparent strength of fundamentalist beliefs and the “religious right” in the United States. But the power of literalist and conservative denominations is exaggerated by what could be called the headline fallacy: fundamentalist groups are news worthy precisely because their views are not the norm. And religious conservatives campaign noisily because they are losing all their battles (“Winners don’t protest,” as Bruce puts it). The “Moral Majority” movement was started by television evangelists in the late1970s because conservative Christians felt, quite rightly, that a tide of secularism and liberal values had turned against them.

そうは言っても、アメリカは欧州と比べて信仰心がある国であるのは間違いないようです。その一つの理由が多民族の移民国家であるためで、キリスト教が多いのは移民の出身国にキリスト教徒が多いからだと分析しています。

Nevertheless, the fact remains that Americans are, on average, significantly more religious than the inhabitants of other large, rich countries. Many explanations have been offered for this. One oft he most plausible invokes the source of community that churches provide for an extremely mobile, ethnically diverse and immigrant population. Nearly 12% of people in the United States were born in another country – usually a poorer and more religious one than America – and the recently arrived turn for social support to churches used by other members of their ethnic group. More than two-thirds of these immigrants are from Christian countries, so they tend to strengthen the local religious institutions; in Europe, by contrast, most immigrants are Muslims or Hindus. Even native-born Americans are much more likely than people in other developed countries to live far from their families and friends: the average American moves home nearly 12 times in a lifetime, and America is a very large place. Churches provide an instant community for recent arrivals.

また別の理由として社会保障制度が確立していないために、社会を頼ることができないため、教会のような組織に頼らざるをえいないという厳しい現状があることを挙げています。

Welfare safety nets are poor by European standards: lose your job, and you may well lose everything. Poverty and economic inequality are strikingly high. It is a violent country: the murder rate is by far the highest in the developed world – twice as high as in the next most murderous country – and a much larger proportion of Americans are incarcerated than in any other rich nation. In short, Americans live closer to disaster than the citizens of other rich countries. They are especially in need of God, because nobody else will help them.

どうしても単純に信仰だけを考えようとすると、ハチントンの文明の衝突的な単純化した方向になってしまいます。中東情勢にしてもこのような社会経済的な分析も必要なんだろうなと思いました。


The Clash of Civilizations?
By Samuel P. Huntington
FROM OUR SUMMER 1993 ISSUE
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