Segments in this Video

Religion of Modernity (02:31)


Terry Eagleton states reason, Geist, science, art, culture, humanity, nature, the people, the state, the nation, and Michael Jackson are atheist versions of God. Religion has traditionally legitimized political regimes; leaders have been unsuccessful as substitutes. Religion connects everyday habits with transcendent truths and is the most successful form of popular culture in history.

Religion and Culture (02:02)

Culture can refer to values of a cultivated minority, or the way of life of a people, or what they are prepared to die for. Eagleton argues that sport is the most successful substitute for religion.

Postmodernism and Secularism (02:28)

After attempts to reject God in the 19th century, European capitalist society succeeded in the 20th century when the middle class matured and could "afford" to go faithless. It profited from the social cohesion of consumerism.

Nobody's Business but Your Own (03:59)

Post-modern capitalism mistakenly imagines conviction as dogmatic and authoritarian. Faithlessness of modernity is liberating in sexuality, art, and religion. As long as citizens work, pay taxes, and obey the law, they can believe what they want.

Middle Class Secularism (03:27)

Nietzsche admired people who refuse to be prisoners of their convictions; Charles Taylor saw belief as constitutive of self-hood. According to Nietzsche, the bourgeoisie "killed" God by creating a faithless market society.

Keeping God on Life Support (02:48)

Eagleton argues that the European middle class needed religious morality for political stability, but were secular consumerists at a practical level. Nietzsche's solution was to reject religion and create individual values in its absence, an idea that became feasible with post-modernity.

Islam vs. Capitalism (03:41)

Eagleton describes post-modernity as the first atheist civilization with secularized intellectual and cultural priorities. As ideology was dying after the West's Cold War victory, 9/11 produced a new grand narrative. Eagleton discusses America's cultural contradiction of materialism and Christianity.

Rise of Fundamentalism (03:40)

As postmodernism "killed" God, 9/11 brought religion back on the agenda. Eagleton argues that fundamentalism has its source in fear of advanced capitalism, not hatred.

Postmodern Paradox (03:49)

Eagleton argues that radical Islam developed as a backlash in smaller, weaker nations that suffered under the West's post-Cold War triumphalism—an irony the West has been unable to acknowledge. Agnosticism designed to ward off fanaticism and fundamentalism actually increased them.

Polarized Global Society (03:19)

Eagleton discusses how the West spawned secularism and fundamentalism. By neutralizing secular nationalist forces in the Middle East, it created a political vacuum occupied by radical Islam. Few people take a middle road in terms of belief systems.

Second Enlightenment (03:31)

Some Western scholars are reviving rationalist, scientific, and progressive ideas to justify and legitimize postmodernism. Eagleton states American arguments for a preemptive strike to prevent the Muslim world from developing nuclear weapons is evidence of a moral deficit.

Credits: Death of God and the War on Terror (00:08)

Credits: Death of God and the War on Terror

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Death of God and the War on Terror

Part of the Series : Institute of Art and Ideas: Cutting Edge Debates and Talks from the World's Leading Thinkers
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



How did the death of God give birth to western capitalism and the religious fundamentalism that thrives under its wing? Terry Eagleton, one of Britain's most influential cultural critics, reveals the unspoken history of our supposedly faithless world.

Length: 36 minutes

Item#: BVL115738

ISBN: 978-1-63521-213-6

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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