Friday, June 25, 2010

Features of the religious reform movements

Features of the religious reform movements

The humanist aspect of the religious reform movements was expressed in the general attack on priesthood and rituals, and the emphasis on the individuals right to interpret religious scriptures in the light of human reason and human welfare. Though the reformers tried to reform their religions, their general outlook was universalistic. The religious reform movements fostered among Indians greater self-respect, self-confidence, and pride in their country .

The religious reform movements helped many Indians to come to terms with the modern world. In fact they arose to recast the old religions into a new modern mould to suit the needs of new social groups of society. Thus pride in the past did not prevent Indians from accepting the essential superiority of the modern world in general and modern science in particular.

The religious reform movements had two negative aspects. Firstly, all of them catered to the needs of a small percentage of the population-the urban middle and upper classes. None of them could reach the vast masses of the peasants. The second limitation was the tendency to look backward, appeal to past greatness, and to rely on scriptural authorityThey undermined to some extent the supremacy of human reason and scientific outlook.

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