IDIS: Western Worldview and Biblical Worldview and Their Impact on University Education
By Heesu Shu
Trinity Western University
Instructor: Michael Goheen
March 17, 2011
A worldview is how we view the world. A worldview is all-encompassing so if we have one worldview and this will affect every part of lives. Worldview is like roots of a tree, the unseen part of a tree, but it is very important because it is the source of all thoughts, beliefs and actions that we have. Many aspects of culture: sport, politics, science, university, all stem from our worldview. There are two stories exist: western story and biblical story. These two stories are different worldview that we have. Those two worldviews often refer to the consumer worldview and biblical worldviews. The worldview that we choose will also affect our university education. The worldview plays a critical role in each individual’s life because it shapes his or her entire life.
Consumer worldview (western story and world view (don’t be conformed)) We all are consumers in the world. We buy things and we consume things in our lives. The valuable things in the Western story are earning as much money as possible and consume that money to get goods and services and get new experiences. The ultimate meanings of post-Enlightenment West are the economic growth, material prosperity, consumption of goods and experiences; this worldview is called consumerism. We should recognize the pervasive and foundational consumerist reality of our day. Consumerism became a fairly big part and parcel of the fabric of modern life. Because it is so important and cannot be separated from our lives, the concept of Consumerism became like one of our religions.
The story of how it developed
There is a historical background for how we got the consumer worldview. The concept of consumerism was initiated since the Renaissance. The word Renaissance indicates that “we believe something has been “born again” (Crossroad 6). During the Renaissance in the 15th to 16th centuries, people named their own time the “modern period”. In this modern period, there was a rebirth of classical scholarship and also a renewed interest in the humanities (Crossroad 6). In this time period, the secular humanist worldview began, which is “the radical anti-Christian form of humanism in northern Italy” (Crossroad 6). The Renaissance secular humanism showed a renewed interest in the present world and encouraged the sense that humankind is autonomous. Also, they thought that humanity has the task of being master over nature.
In 16th century, there was Reformation within the Renaissance. The Reformation worked thoroughly for Christian renewal but also unintentionally accelerated secularization. In 16th century, there were two spiritual forces that existed in this time period. One was the Renaissance was humanist and the other was that Reformation was Christian. (Crossroad 6) Hence, people struggled between these two spiritual forces.
Then, there was the Scientific Revolution in 16th to 17th centuries. Through the Scientific Revolution, there was development of modernity.
The Enlightenment in 18th century led to the conversion of the west to a new faith. “The word Enlightenment implies that the “light of the world” has arrived” (Crossroad 6). Scientific humanism replaced the gospel as “light of the world” (Crossroad 6). The Scientific humanism said there is faith in progress, in reason, in technology and in a rationally ordered social world. Only science was accepted as public truth while the gospel became merely a preference.
In 19th century, during the Industrial revolution, the European developed science-based technology which allowed rational organization of production and economic life. The specialization and mechanization of labor led to tremendous economic growth. There is an overproduction of goods in our...
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