Ethical and religious foundation and perspectives of society and religiology in context of modern education

author: Bojan Žalec, Teološka fakulteta, Univerza v Ljubljani
produced by: S.TV.A.d.o.o.
published: Aug. 14, 2013,   recorded: June 2013,   views: 2918

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The challenges of globalisation demand an ethical reflection. To prevent a general disintegration and demoralisation and above all to mitigate potential conflicts in the society it is necessary to provide ethical foundation and to ascertain a role of the religious foundation. Our starting point is the experience of the ethical tradition, which grew out of Jewish and Christian religion, Greek philosophical reflection and Roman legal system, what is nowadays described by the term human rights. Differences in comprehension of human rights however demand searching for common ethical and ideological foundations to achieve a consensus among them. Christian ethics has shaped a modern concept of a man as a person. Despite the legal foundations of society that should provide a basis for human rights ethical dilemmas are becoming bigger and the need for universal ethics increases. As several social theorists (Foucault, Virillio, Bau-drillard) stress, the key ethical question is: How should people link themselves together, to unite, in order to create social capital (Fukuyama), which forms a basis for coexistence of people with different ideological and ethical origins. Whether the globalisation will be solely an economical process or also a human process, that means a process acceptable for different groups of people, depends on ethical consensus. In that sense H. Kueng suggested the world ethos. In order to protect human being as a person, to protect his survival from the conception till the death, to strengthen the coexistence of persons, groups and nations we must search for common basis of the religious and secular foundations of ethics which stretches from pragmatism and utilitarianism, liberalism to the ideological basis of communitariaism (Taylor) or theory of justice (Rawls)) and for the moral consensus in societies (Rorty, Dahl, MacIntyre, Murdoch). We must settle complex problems of social justice, environment, natural sources and consecutively of men's future and his survival in general, especially the survival of people who are socially stricken, who live at the margin, who are poor. In order to achieve that aims a relevant modern education is needed.

In this context the epistemology of the religious phenomena and religious discourse built a ground origin of the research program. Since many misuses of religious dimension of life are known as from the past as nowadays we will pay a special attention to the critical reflection of the religious phenomena and their relation to ethics and eo ipso to values or virtues respectively in a society. We will investigate religious phenomena in their various dimensions: discursive and practical symbolism; relations society-culture-religion; religious ethos, representations, ethics moralities and economy; a role of the religious legal systems in a plural society; the significance and the role of religion in the case of human rights; the role of virtues and values in the life of a person and of a society; psychology of learning and didactics of the tradition of the values and psychology of the ethical formation in a society; a contribution of religions to the shaping of tolerant relations and to the coexistence in the society.

The role of virtues and of values in a society depends on their bearers. The research will try to find out, what are the ethical attitudes in the society, what virtues are practised by believers and by nonbelievers and in what way it is possible to find consensus despite the differences. Our goal is to scrutiny (from the religiological and from the ethical aspect) attitudes and judgements (also unjustified) that create conflict situations and tensions and to contribute to the creation of more human relations, connected with religious dimensions of private and common life. In connection with the problems described above we will deal with a preparation of learning materials, which would make possible a better enforcement of ethical and religious foundations.

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