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« Hu Jia, Confucius and Soft Power | Main | Man and Nature are One »

April 19, 2010


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Hi, professor:

Sorry I missed your presentation as I thought you were not interested in meeting me because I had not received your feedback on time.

I hope we can meet up when you visit shanghai next time.

Wonderful post, Sam. I would have liked to have heard that discussion.

I am very interested in the relationship between modernization and religion. The balance, the morphing, how religion takes on a new, but perhaps different significance, as "antidote", rather than the more unquestioned belief system of old. Might we see a version of this happening in the US as well?

Thanks Clare. It was a good decision and came the day after my rather manic lecture on modernization. It gave the students more of a chance to get into the conversation. And they did, exploring various sides of the question.

As to religion, I think what you mention is happening in the US. Indeed, the US stands out in this regard. Where early modernization theorists expected a decline in religious belief, as perhaps has happened in Europe, in the US religion continues to be a strong factor in many people's lives. It takes on new and shifting forms - as seen in the decline of the old mainline denominations and the of "cafeteria Christianity," picking and choosing from a variety of beliefs - but it is certainly a part of modern America.


Your link to "cafeteria Christianity" (a term I have never heard) clarifed something that was said to me years ago.

We had just moved to a new town, where we knew almost no one. I was waiting for my son to exit his first day of 2nd grade (yes, it was that long ago!) and anxious to meet other parents, I struck up a conversation with another mom. Much to my surprise, we immediately veered into religion. She asked me whether I was a Christian, specifically, if I had been "saved". I gave her the reply that though I respected Christianity, and in fact often drew from it, I believed that as many people as there are on this earth, there are that many ways to G*d. She answered with something like ...Oh, I see, kind of like a smorgasbord? I could tell she meant this as a slight, but I smiled and said, yup, something like that. The kids then exited and the conversation ended.

Who would think that all these years later, your link would clarify that moment?

modernization is universal.

just like paper, compass, printing. gunpowder. all are public knowledge.

Public domain.PD. public to all people of the earth.

first flight at kitty hawk. 1903
moon landing 1969.

cell phones

patents become public knowledge after 20-years.

professor publish works. academic work becomes public domain

albert einstein
electricity of maxwell-faraday
charles darwin.
Tim Berners Lee. worldwide web.
free to the world. free to the free world.

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