Jediism Can It Be Considered A New Religion?
I have chosen an article written by Tom de Castella titled “Have Jedi created a new ‘religion’?” BBC News Magazine, 24 October 2014 which can be found at the following link (http://bbc.in/ZRK9aT) . The article itself addresses Jediism as a growing religion with more and more people identifying themselves as Jedi each year. The article begins by talking about how people identifying themselves as Jedi began as a joke by atheists but later took real form when people began identifying themselves with “the force”. The article then goes on to talk about how even though the idea of the Jedi comes from the Star Wars movie series many who identify themselves as Jedi are moving away from the Star Wars stories and are focusing more on three tenets-focus, knowledge, and wisdom. The second half of the article discusses some of the beliefs and experiences of those who identify themselves as Jedi. One Jedi is quoted saying that the Jedi belief system is a patchwork quilt of Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism and Samurai. He is also quoted saying that ideas offered in Jediism can be looked at as a simple dualism of good and evil or light and dark. The reason I chose this article is because I believe it relates well to our studies of new religious movements. It shows how new religious movements can come from anywhere and how although to non-believers it may seem like a joke many actually find that they can relate well to the beliefs and teachings of Jediism. Towards the end of the article the Right Reverend David Walker is quoted saying that Jediism is another way that people look to give meaning to their lives and in my opinion that is a universal attribute of any religion. I agree with the statements made at the end of the article that even though there is a steady rise in the number of people who are becoming a part of the Jedi religion they will still need to be observed for some decades before being accepted as a religion. To conclude I believe this article and the Jedi religious movement as a whole provide a good example of how new religious movements can be sparked at any time and can be inspired by an infinite amount of ideas and beliefs.