Postmodernist Relativism: A Return to Polytheism?

  • Lorena Ortiz Cabrero
Keywords: Religion, Postmodernism, Relativism, Polytheism, Belief systems


Despite distancing themselves from traditional religions, (Western) post-secular societies are still heavily concerned with ‘spirituality’ and other forms of self-realisation. Within our working postmodernist framework, where ‘truth’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘God’ are found to be relative, this concern often translates into a combination of religiously inspired practices – such as (Hinduist) yoga or (Buddhist) meditation – and a scientific, modern approach to the knowledge of the world. Can this coexistence of practices be a new kind of polytheism? This paper shows that postmodernist, relativistic belief systems share the poly-, or multiplicity of approaches to life and reality, but not the -theist, or conceptualisation of their beliefs as ‘divine’.