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Implicit Religion

Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxxiv ] The shortest definition is ‘commitment’: an investment of a religious dimension in concerns which may not usually be called religious, such as communism, sport, consumerism, individualism and familism. Just as religious phenomena are accepted as having secular implications, so ‘implicit religion’ suggests that in some of what are considered to be secular commitments phenomena conventionally considered to be religious, or related to those often labelled religious, may be found. The term ‘implicit’ directs attention to areas of human behaviour usually seen as simply secular; ‘religious’ is applied here because it is holistic and exemplifies commitment. The concept of ‘religion’ here is seen as uniting the various levels of sociality (such as the individual, social and corporate) and of consciousness (subconscious, conscious and self-conscious); so the concept of implicit religion likewise reflects the symbiotic relationship between the sacred/profane and the secular. Two drawbacks in the use of the term ‘implicit religion’ should be mentioned. On the one hand, the evidence for it may not be implicit: those practising an ideology, such as secularism, may for instance even describe their way of life as a sort of religion. Here it has the popular usage found in expressions such as ‘reading the papers religiously’, meaning carefully (i.e. regularly and diligently). In this case ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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