Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reaction to Long's "Theology and Culture"

I agree with most of Long's definition of culture. I felt that his idea of how culture is a difficult term to define was very accurate because it can be interpreted in different ways depending on the situation. The concept of culture outlines many aspects of a group of peoples' way of life, and it can definitely vary from person to person or from place to place. Culture can include religion, habits, values, history, and language, among many other things, to portray people and their ways of life. I agree with Long that religion is an important aspect of a culture, but I disagree that this religion must be Christianity. I believe that any belief in a God is an important detail that helps to describe people from a certain place or time. Any type of spirituality, whether it is in a God or some other kind of greater power, can show a lot about the culture of a group of people. To eliminate other types of religion or spirituality from the concept of culture is to claim that the only "correct" religion is Christianity, and is to say that any other belief systems are not real, established, or important. I personally think that looking at the differences in cultures is what makes studying groups of people from different time periods and locations so interesting. Even though culture is something that is hard to grasp, I don't think that Long should be shutting out anything that might be an important trait of a specific lifestyle.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you-- I believe that, though religion has a lot to do with culture, culture does not necessarily have a lot to do with religion. Culture, like you said, has so many different aspects, and religion is not always a key facet. It is clear in today's increasingly secular world, that religion is playing less and less of a prominent role. Long places a strong emphasis on the importance of religion in culture, particularly Christianity; I just don't see where he would get that basis when looking at our current society, and the direction it is heading. Let me elaborate: at the heart of Christianity are strict morals that emphasize the importance of chastity or sobriety. Being on a college campus, where the culture (especially on the weekends) does the exact opposite, it is difficult for me to agree with Long.
    That being said, I do believe that religion does play an important role in some cultures. This idea of culture being one universal thing is a little absurd, because it varies everywhere. The culture on a college campus is different than the culture in a small town, which will be different than the culture in a big city. Culture is composed of a multitude of things, and though religion, in some cases, might play a crucial part, it seems that in today's popular culture, it is not playing as prominent a role as argued by Long.
    Culture is a difficult concept to grasp, because as we had determined in our last class, it is difficult to clearly define a word. It is difficult to define a concept, because a definition sets parameters that limit the concept. I do like that Long was very clear in making this point: though all human beings can relate to the idea of culture, it is still difficult to define.