While the issues regarding widespread secularization in contemporary Western culture are difficult to properly assess, it can be argued that certain prerequisites are necessary for the well-being of any society and, furthermore, that certain of these necessary conditions are only provided by a given civilization's major religious tradition. All societies need to perpetually engage in collective action and decision making, and as any given community faces the challenges of the future, its governing religious worldview is an indispensable source of guidance and time-honored wisdom. With this in mind, it will be argued that Western civilization is dependent upon a Judeo-Christian orientation for its ongoing vibrancy, integrity, and sustainability as a culture. When the background of shared values and norms provided by Judaism and Christianity no longer functions in any unifying capacity, society loses its sense of identity and purpose, and impoverishment in many areas of human life and endeavor is felt and observed. Something—whether it is described as value, order, meaning, community, or charity—goes missing. This diminishment will be analyzed with respect to four different Western fields of study: philosophy, literature, politics, and education.
Hunt Steenblik, Rachel E.; Zameni, Heidi; Ostorga, Debbie; and Greeley, Nathan
"An Awareness of What Is Missing: Four Views on the Consequences of Secularism,"
LUX: A Journal of Transdisciplinary Writing and Research from Claremont Graduate University:
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/lux/vol3/iss1/7