'Imperialism-Religion-ism'... are they interlinked???? I'm confused :(

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nani24's picture
'Imperialism-Religion-ism'... are they interlinked???? I'm confused :(

Does religion play a role in imperialistic philosophies of various countries?? I'm really very confused. Can anyone please justify......

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mysticrose's picture
I don't think so. Imperialism

I don't think so. Imperialism can be related to politics and government but not about deities. In some way, they can be connected but not that interlinked.

nani24's picture
..But policies of government

..But policies of government and politics are however being influenced by the culture, traditions and religious aspects that exist in any particular country. Leaving these things apart no government takes any decision in and out of the country. Doesn't this make a sense that imperialistic ideas are also an outcome of religion???????

Spewer's picture
My opinion is that all

My opinion is that all "missionary work" is actually religious imperialism. It attempts to suppress indigenous culture and replace it with an alien culture. All religion is ultimately cultural.

Zaphod's picture
Interesting, I never thought

Interesting, I never thought of it that way! I have often thought of it as just people doing good thing for others in need. Though I hate it when I see this done only to spread the religion doing said missionary work in this case I can agree with you!

SammyShazaam's picture
Very astute. I'm inclined to

Very astute. I'm inclined to agree with you, given what I know of history, but I wonder why it is always that way?

And yes, religion is largely cultural. It's very interesting to see how the culture, and the religion, of a society is influences by outside forces. It makes it clear that religion stems only from our inner human need to make sense of the bigger things going on around us - sometimes with limited intellectual tools.

Spewer's picture
Exactly. This is why warlike

Exactly. This is why warlike cultures give rise to warlike gods and why it always seems to turn out that god hates all the same people the ones who worship 'him' do.

SammyShazaam's picture
I'm digging madly right now

I'm digging madly right now looking for a book I read 10 years ago about how the river flow through the 7 major cultural hearths is reflected in the religious structure that developed in them... the copy I read was in French and I want to say it was written by Levi-Strauss, but I can't find it on amazon right now... has anyone else read it?

I figured you might find it interesting, Spewer :)

Spewer's picture
Thanks Sammy! :) I lack your

Thanks Sammy! :) I lack your talent for French (or English, for that matter...), but I'll keep an eye out for it.

Zaphod's picture
Don't feel bad even those who

Don't feel bad even those who can speak and write English without error lack her talent for English she is a master of expressionism, it's like an art. Come to think of it I bet she would be an incredible artist as well. I have heard learning multiple languages can increase a person IQ by about 10% not sure if this is true.

SammyShazaam's picture
Expressionism? Yeah, I'm an

Expressionism? Yeah, I'm an awesome painter too. How'd you know? j/k :) Although something completely in the face of Impressionism would be fun to start, speaking of imperialism.

Thanks :)

But, I did find Levi-Strauss's essay on the "The Tempest" which does highlight some interesting angles on cultural imperialism... but I'm going to have to scan it in. I can't find it online anywhere, and it was given to me by a friend so I couldn't even tell you where it came from.

mattyn's picture
In a round about way, it does

In a round about way, it does. When you think about how much religion affects even the non-religious sectors of a population, you get a definite foothold for it and it may sway a lot of people's feelings.

Zaphod's picture
Apparently, Makes one think

Apparently, Makes one think that for sure at least one being me. I have always been for religions doing good work without making it gods work and i have to reevaluate that stance as I had not really considered the subliminal imperial effect that being even less controlling could result in even more control. I guess people who come into belief freely and of their own accord are more likely to be more unshakable. Hitler had a strategy which involved creating mass chaos and then providing relief in an effort to make the people love him and essentially give him control or authority as they would have faith in his ability to get things done. I guess religion does this all the time perhaps even without even trying to. This explains though it may seem stupid to others on here at least to me, how exactly religion can become so dangerous, I always knew it did but in my logic I failed to see how they did it. Whatever, this was as stupid rant perhaps I'll have to reconsider how I go about doing charitable work.

ginamoon's picture
I think it could be true on

I think it could be true on some places or in some era/part of the history.
There are some who used religions to gain more power, properties and followers. I also agree that beliefs can affect the government one way or another.

Birdy's picture
In the run-up to the Spanish

In the run-up to the Spanish-American war, the war was sold to American people as: "This is a chance to "Christianize" the people of the Philippines." --as if the Spanish, (Catholic Church in tow) hadn't done so already.

Imperialism always starts with some sort of paternalistic view toward the people about to be conquered. "Those poor people over there don't know how to live right or govern themselves. We'll go over there and show them how it's done." Religion is usually part of it.

Zaphod's picture
yeah a lot of wars are fought

yeah a lot of wars are fought under similar pretense they sell you this war is to do this or that which will help these people be more like what the people think is the better way to be but don't be fooled. Like when a country goes to war to try and bring democracy but is really there for the oil nobody but the rich people behind the war will get. They tellus its for democracy so after they destroy the places they help rebuild and create what they call democracy so they can say they did it. By the way those rich people get all teh rebuilding and weapons contracts as well.

mysticrose's picture
Hundreds of years ago, long

Hundreds of years ago, long before the Philippines was introduced to Christianity, they already worship different gods. That's why Christian priest called them pagans. They were obliged to work hard for the Spanish government and stop all their beliefs in deities. Filipinos who tried to continue with their old ways where punished or even killed. See how Christians were desperate to transform the Filipinos' faith into Christianity?

SammyShazaam's picture
Good point. When it comes to

Good point. When it comes to bringing religion in with imperialism, people tend to always want to point the finger at France and Britain... but Spaniards are actually really aggressive about that! They almost completely wiped out the indigenous religions of their colonies, the most famous being the Aztecs and the Mayans, which you had already mentioned mysticrose :)

Rob's picture
It plays a major role

It plays a major role actually. Religion has shaped up all things that relate to imperialism throught history.

mysticrose's picture
I'm just wondering if I would

I'm just wondering if I would love pagan's ways and beliefs if Catholicism and other religions did not arrive. Pagans believe in god too and they actually have many gods which made them do crazy rituals. Remember how the Aztecs are dedicated to serve their gods even if they sacrifice lives?

William00's picture
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