For my purposes, "reactionary religion" is defined as; " a concept that accepts the supposition that religious thought, doctrine and belief is influenced by previously examined religious positions". This definition can be both in a universal sense and in an individual sense. For example, a person may be an adherent to a traditional 5 point Calvinist faith. By definition however, Calvinism is reactionary to the Roman Catholic and various protestant faiths of its day. In our example of the Calvinist, he may never have heard of the Roman Catholic church, or any other denomination. He may have only been exposed to the teachings of his one local church and may not even know that other ways of thinking exist. None the less, his particular set of beliefs would be reactionary even though he has never been exposed to the ideas that helped form them.
I think that as a concept "reactionary religion" helps explain various trends that have developed in the religions of the world over time. I'm beginning to believe that the concept can explain how we have arrived at the religious and philosophical positions that people hold today. I'm not sure what practical application this has beyond my own intellectual curiosity.
I would be interested in getting input on:
- The term "Reactionary Religion", might there be a better name for this idea? Although I think its accurate, it almost has a confrontational ring to it. I'm not sure I like it.
- Is there a better way to express/talk about the idea than the definition I've used?
- Is it accurate to view a person who accepts some but not all of a belief system as "reactionary"? If it is, at what point does that individual's belief system change from being an adherent to a semi adherent?
- Is it realistic to see "world view", "philosophy" and "religious position" as essentially the same thing? In that case are all of mans intellectual positions "reactionary"?