After reading my classmates’ responses and considering my initial response in Part 1 of this research assignment on “The Case for Contamination” by Kwame Anthony Appiah, I revisit the following questions; “What roles do religions play in Appiah’s analysis? Do I agree or disagree to his approach towards religion? How does it differ from my individual approach towards religion?”
To answer the first question, “What roles do religions play in Appiah’s analysis?” In “The Case for Contamination”, Appiah discusses how cultures and religions can be positively and negatively affected by globalization. As we have studied in this course, religion forms our culture, traditions, values, etc. In his article, Appiah says that both religions and societies contaminate each other. For some people in a society, their religious culture is so strong that no influence from the western world or any other society can affect their beliefs and traditions. As I wrote in my discussion post, in regards to the Zulu man Sipho by watching the show “Days of Our Lives”, he was able to learn about western culture. He realized that he should speak more to his father and that his father can be not only his father but also his friend. The show also taught him things that his culture wouldn’t let him adopt. For example, Appiah writes, “In terms of our culture, a girl is expected to enter into relationships when she is about 20. In the Western culture, a girl can be exposed to a relationship as early as 15 or 16. That one we shouldn’t adopt in our culture.” (Appiah, 2006) Therefore, in this example, religious culture was preserved and globalization has a positive role in contamination. Globalization can have a negative roles on religion. At times, foreign ideas are imposed on a culture and lead to changes in culture that lead to changes in the culture. Appiah states that the role of religion is to create a global society, that is not divided along cultural ties. Also known as “Cosmopolitanism”. In cosmopolitanism all humanity is embraced. The people in these communities are in relationships of mutual respect despite their different beliefs, whether it be religious or political, etc. These communities allows everyone with different socioeconomic backgrounds to be equal and status no longer exist when it is in terms of religious faith.
To answer the next question on whether or not I agree with Appiah, I would definitely have to agree with him on the analysis on the roles of religion. Religion is considered a social institution. Religion allows people from all walks of life to have and enjoy a common culture, where no one can be identified by a culture, but by faith. Everyone in society will bring peace and respect the others beliefs, no matter the differences may be.