Religions in a globalizing world

Authored by: David Wessels

Routledge Handbook of Religion and Politics

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138826991
eBook ISBN: 9781315643922
Adobe ISBN:


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Religions are found wherever and whenever people inhabit our world. In the globalizing world of the twenty-first century, these religions naturally are intertwined with the diverse political trends of our age. 1 From time immemorial, this has been the mark of civilizations, empires, nations, the modern state, indeed of the human condition as such. Among the challenges of global politics, issues of order, governance, and multiculturalism in a world of diverse economic and social realities are never far from religions. As cultures meet, religions act and interact within core areas, along adjoining borders, and in far-flung diasporas. The encounter between religion and globalization is a crucial feature of our world. In the globalizing transformation that is occurring, religion is basic for the understanding of many of today’s outstanding political issues: democratization, emancipation, terrorism, fundamentalisms. Calls for tolerance and reconciliation amid a rise in the prominence of public religion are heard within states and nations, in civil society and transnational relations, in traditional diplomacy and new global fora. Overarching aspects of international relations such as sovereignty and the structure of the international system have been intertwined with religions throughout history up to the present. Likewise, religions are molded by their political surroundings, locally and globally.

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