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Religions 2015, 6(1), 42-57; doi:10.3390/rel6010042

The Concept of Periphery in Pope Francis’ Discourse: A Religious Alternative to Globalization?

Secretary General and collaborator to the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies—ReligioWest, European University Institute, Via Bolognese 156-50138 Florence, Italy
Academic Editor: Lionel Obadia
Received: 21 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 December 2014 / Published: 16 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [135 KB, uploaded 16 January 2015]

Abstract

Since the beginning of his mandate, Pope Francis has used the concept of periphery as a metaphor of social marginality. However, the notion of periphery also seems to target the asymmetries generated by the liberal version of globalization. Pope Francis’ narrative has to be read in the broader context of the relation between religions and globalization. That interaction is usually conceptualized in terms of religions capitalizing on global “vectors”, such as new information and communication technologies, processes of political and institutional integration, shared cultural patterns, transnational phenomena and organizations. An alternative way to analyze the role of religions consists in considering them as agencies defending the perspective of a universal community, putting into question the national political boundaries and contesting the existing global order. Understood in those terms, the concept of periphery reveals to be a powerful rhetoric device, insofar as it suggests that it is possible to get a wider perspective of the current state of the world looking form the edge rather than from the center. View Full-Text
Keywords: religions and globalization; religions as resistance; world community; peripheries; expulsions; difference religions and globalization; religions as resistance; world community; peripheries; expulsions; difference
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ferrara, P. The Concept of Periphery in Pope Francis’ Discourse: A Religious Alternative to Globalization? Religions 2015, 6, 42-57.

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