Publication date:01 February 2013
Length of book:226 pages
Today, in an age of globalization, religion represents a potent force in the lives of billions of people worldwide. Yet when social theorists examine the impact of globalization on contemporary religious movements, they tend to focus on issues such as Islamic fundamentalism and threats to US or global security. This collection of essays takes a different approach, analyzing – with special reference to Asia – religion through lived experience. The key issues covered in the volume include: how religious impulses contribute to globalization; how religious groups and organizations repackage traditional beliefs for transcultural appeal; how religious adherents cope with external threats to identity; how new technologies are reshaping the nature of religious beliefs and images; and how local and global religious influences blend and/or clash. Far from religion being a subject of peripheral concern to globalization, the contributors demonstrate that from the most basic level of our interactions with the natural environment to the socio-political behavior of the “great religions” – and even to the profusion of folk and pop culture phenomena – the influence of religion upon globalization, and vice versa, is apparent at all levels.
“The engaging essays in this book show that religion—though intensely parochial—is also persistently global. It can manifest transnational cultural and social currents at the same time that it is shaped by them. This book explores these issues theoretically, comparatively and with special reference to Taiwan. It is an important addition to the emerging field of global studies and the growing library on global religion.” —Mark Juergensmeyer, author of “Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State” and editor of “The Oxford Handbook of Global Religion”