• Religion,  Sociology

    What is Daivī Varna System?

    The previous post identified two impersonalist tendencies—i.e. “we are one” and “we are equal”—and discussed their respective impacts on Indian and Western societies. The post also discussed how a personalist system based in hierarchical thinking (rather than equality or oneness) is necessary for social organization. This post carries forward that topic, and identifies two kinds of personalist social systems—one material and the other spiritual. These are respectively called Varṇa and…

  • Economics,  Religion

    How Culture Influences Religion

    We generally think of religion as something that pertains to transcendence beyond the current material existence. The reality, however, is that the day-to-day practice of religion involves societies whose cultural norms must be compatible with the tenets of the religion. If there is a misfit between culture and religion, then most likely the religion would be changed rather than the culture. This fact has important implications for the understanding of…