Politics and Religion in the Prairies, Vol. 7, No.2
Year Published: 1977
Periodical profile published 1977
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX414
Abstract: This newsletter shows that not only can religion act as an opiate of the people, but that any institution is capable of confusing people about social directions by defending the interests of the rich and powerful. To make sense of the sensitive issue of church involvement in society the newsletter looks at how the church is systematically involved in the value setting and opinion-making in the community - this makes its involvement political. The distinct forms of social commitments and influences that rise up from the conservative, reformist and socialist directions in the church are each analysed. The influences of biblical piety on political directions in the west are discussed. A basic change in political disposition is identified with the discovery of oil, technical achievement and urbanization. Prior to this, the government was directed by a perspective which had the organizing priciple of whether a program or policy was right or just. Now the government is judged as being caught up in a technocratic ethos which has no capacity to think in terms of the value of persons but only whether a program is possible. To develop a political theology under such circumstances the newsletter suggests that the Christian community must be self critical especially with how it incorporates the ideological matrix of the society into its theology and practice. Power structures need analysing, the enemy has to be discerned and named in order to understand the kind of resistance and lifestyle that is to be lived. In this context, "sin" is understood not generally but specifically as apathy and collaboration. The question of how doctrine, sacraments, worship, scripture and prayer have helped and hindered the church in identifying with the poor are looked at.