Throughout mankind’s current history, that is, since about 10,000 years ago, some form of religion has guided culture’s behavior. Even in the days of Cybele eight millennia ago, the original mother of creation represented a need by Phrygians (Eastern Turkey) to have a bond with something beyond human capabilities.
Western civilization combined religious mandates with civil mandates creating theocracies that clearly were oriented toward human and governmental desires but nevertheless acknowledged ethics, morality and theology in their courts of justice. Sudan, Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and especially Rome spread Christianity/Civil Rule into Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and to the northernmost lands of Scandinavia. Even Russia depended on the Russian Orthodox Church from time to time.
But as Cybele lost the power of her myth, so, too, over time, Moses, Jesus, Paul and Augustine have paled as the powerful Christian and Hebrew mythic theology is confronted by time and knowledge.
Most telling is the separation of Church and State across the West. Always integrated in the past, modern constitutions and governmental ethics continually expand the civilian control of culture while excluding the moral authority of religion. It is a common opinion that the preferred religion is capitalism.
While practiced in the manner of a religion, Capitalism fails as an extra-human force that promotes ethical principles and meaning to individuals as a species, as individuals of common value, as an engine of virtue rather than wealth.
As mankind enters the new millennia, it enters without a true religion. Certainly Christian and Hebrew practices and beliefs still prevail but in a weakened state. Civility is not a central force today – especially in government – perhaps unaccustomed to managing culture without religion.
Whence the next religion?
One can take hope in the continuous improvement of special interest organizations. Everything from environmental organizations to racial and alternative living groups to human rights groups to equality of life groups are organized, funded, active, and importantly beginning to bring ethics and morality back into civil life. Humans are beginning to realize that today the onus is on them to sustain a quality culture – a function that was the role of the church in times past.
But what of Moses? What of Jesus? What of God? How must Christians breathe life back into the Holy Trinity?
We must create a new myth that unifies mankind with something beyond human control.