Exploring the Cometanic Theory of Dominationism

Taylorian, Brandon Reece orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2632-5642 (2020) Exploring the Cometanic Theory of Dominationism. Astronist Institution.

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Proposed theory on pluralism: Although religious pluralism and co-existence is achievable, there must always exist a dominant cultural, religious or ideological framework within which minorities reside.

The theory on pluralism that I wish to propose is what I have termed as “dominationism” or “domination theory”. Domination theory would state that even though religious pluralism can and should exist in a modern society, it can only be sustained if it exists within a dominant framework. This framework may have a religious, secular or atheistic slant, but it is nevertheless the dominant framework in which religious pluralism exists. Although the idea of domination of one framework and religious pluralism may seem contradictory, an example of this can be found in almost every country. For example, in the United Kingdom, we live in a pluralistic society within a religious framework slanted towards Anglicanism (Bradney, 2015). In the United States, they live in a pluralistic society within a secularistic framework (Rosentiel, 2007). In the UK’s case, Anglicanism is the framework in which religious pluralism exists and in the US, secularism is the framework in which religious pluralism also exists. In both countries, religious pluralism is readily upheld, however, both have systems or frameworks that are characterised by a dominant ideology or religion.The argument that dominationism is proposing is that religious pluralism cannot exist in and of itself as there must be a dominant framework for it to exist within. An example of where this theory is being tested is in the case of Nigeria that has an almost equal population of Christians and Muslims. In that country, secularism must be the dominant framework for the country to continue to exist as it is split along religious lines between its north and its south (Reinhart, 2019). Dominationism essentially states that whether a country is religious or secular or atheist, there will always exist a dominant framework by which a country is run and through which it identifies in the majority, whether that be religious, secular, or atheistic. Applied to a democracy, dominationism states that a democratic system is geared towards the dominant majority but in which religious pluralism is likely to still exist due to the liberal nature of the society (e.g. France and Germany) (Schieder, 2015). In an authoritarian state, dominationism is existent in the dominant minority who possess political and often military power (e.g. North Korea and China) who often don’t allow open practice of religion at all. This does not mean to say that France and Germany are anything like North Korea and China, but this comparison demonstrates the two extremes of the applicability of domination theory and how there can exist a variety of shades of dominationism between these two extremes. To illuminate the domination theory further and to make a deeper link to pluralism and interfaith interactions in relation to the domination theory, I have selected a total of eleven photos for the portfolio.

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