By Mohammad Alami Musa For The Straits Times
How will religion adapt to the pandemic? The answers to five key questions point to more individualism, and a new state-religion relationship
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of religious life, given its huge communal and collective dimensions.
Religious activities have been active contributors to the spread of the virus. Religion experienced the same fate as other worldly preoccupations like the economy – its communal aspects had to be shut down amid lockdowns, circuit breakers and the like.
How should the embrace of religion be reshaped for a future with a real threat of mass infections like this pandemic?
Five hypothetical questions need to be asked.
1. Can religion become less communal and collective?
2. Can there be non-conventional ways of practising the communal dimension of religion?
3. Can there be less “institutional” religion so that substantive “ownership” of religion reverts to individuals?
4. Can a more individualised practice of religion result in less inter-religious competition?
5. Can a unique model of state-religion coalescence be the new normal?
Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
PM New Zealand: ‘The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body’
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