Lesson Objectives

• Define Key Terms

• Appreciate the role that modernity had in changing the world's religions

• Understand how the Abrahamic traditions were affected by modernity

• Understand how the Eastern traditions were affected by modernity

• Recognize why the splits occurred between fundamentalism and modernism

• Appreciate the nuance in the question of Muslim women and the hijab

• Recognize the ongoing (largely unknown) problem of terrorism in the East

Key Terms


Protestant Reformation

Five Solas

Reform Judaism

Salafi Islam

Islamic Modernism

Engaged Buddhism

New Confucianism



What is Modernity?

Rationalism: A break from Metaphor

• Ancient: History is a circle, best described through metaphor and narrative

• Modern: History is progressing in ways we can precisely describe

Individualism: A break from Authority

• Ancient: authority is invested in holy men

• Modern: authority is invested in the individual to find the truth himself

Colonialism: A break from Trascendence

• Ancient: the earth transcends us and should be respected

• Modern: Nations should maximize use of the earth through colonization

Modern Religion: No longer universal, public, and obligatory

• Religion is now local. Every Christian prince chooses his own Christianity.

• Religion is now private. It is now a matter of what you personally believe.

• Religion is now voluntary. There is no compulsion in modern religion.