Special Issue "Religion & Globalization"

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A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Lionel Obadia

Doctoral School in Social Sciences of Lyon (ED 483), 86 rue Pasteur, 69007 Lyon, France
Fax: +33 4 78 77 24 88
Interests: religion and nature; cultural and traditional forms of development and sustainability; non-western forms of development; the globalization of standards of development and ecology; critical perspectives on sustainability; beliefs and ideologies of “environment” and their applications; cultural habits towards material culture; recycling and politics of pollution reduction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Whether globalization is considered as a worldwide structured system of interstate relationships (Friedmann, 1998) or as a world “in motion” (Tomlinson, 1999) crossed by human and cultural flows (Appadurai, 1998), it refers indisputably to a new set of environmental conditions for religions. Globalization is creating new dynamics of change including transnational expansions of traditions (Csordas, 2007), deterritorialized sites, cultic areas (even parishes), virtualized and networked “communities” of believers, electronic and mediatized gods (Stolow, 2010), the universalization of cosmopolitan values and the localization of universalized beliefs (Robertson, 1992). Also shifting religious geographies (for example, Christianity turning “southern” and “black”, Islam turning “Asian”, Buddhism turning “white” and “western”) have contributed to a reshaping of global geopolitics (Huntington, 1993), an “ecological” turn in religious beliefs (Taylor, 2005), a worldwide standardization of religious systems (Beyer, 1994, 1998, 1999) and re-enchantment on a global scale (Csordas, 2007). Migrations have been – and still are – major forces for the geographic redistribution of beliefs and cults, while the world is also becoming ‘proselytized’. This does not clarify the very specific modes by which each process of mobility affects the various ways different religions are acted upon by global forces in their specific contexts. Neither does it take into account the fact that global religious changes may have nothing to do with mobility (Friedmann, 1998) but rather with global systems (Beyer, 1994). A global perspective on religious changes and adaptations in the contemporary world requires a prudent examination of different case-studies as not all religions are subjected to the same forces and engaged with similar processes of changes. Indeed, the “great” historical religions do not face global changes like new expanding religious cults or sects do. Analysis must cautiously distinguish between globalizing religions in global conditions, the impact of globalization on religions, and the role of religions in the rise and the shaping of global (economic, political or ideological) forces.

This special issue aims at gathering papers in which scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds (religious studies, anthropology, sociology, political sciences, history, political economy or others) can explore, on an empirical basis and in clearly identified geographic, historical and cultural contexts, the effects of religion on globalization or of globalization on religions. Please contact Prof. Lionel Obadia, anthropologist, University Lyon 2 at: Lionel.obadia@univ-lyon2.fr.

Prof. Dr. Lionel Obadia
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • globalization
  • global and globalizing religions
  • spiritual transnationalism
  • migration and missionary activism
  • mediatization of religions
  • religion and the Internet
  • deterritorialization and new geographies of religions

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Concept of Periphery in Pope Francis’ Discourse: A Religious Alternative to Globalization?
Religions 2015, 6(1), 42-57; doi:10.3390/rel6010042
Received: 21 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 December 2014 / Published: 16 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (135 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle The Transnationalization of the Akan Religion: Religion and Identity among the U.S. African American Community
Religions 2015, 6(1), 24-39; doi:10.3390/rel6010024
Received: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 19 December 2014 / Published: 8 January 2015
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Abstract
In 1965, Gus Dinizulu, an African American percussionist, traveled to Ghana with the dance company he was leading. There, he took the trip as an opportunity to explore his African roots and met Nana Oparebea, the Ghanaian chief-priestess of the Akonedi Shrine, [...] Read more.
In 1965, Gus Dinizulu, an African American percussionist, traveled to Ghana with the dance company he was leading. There, he took the trip as an opportunity to explore his African roots and met Nana Oparebea, the Ghanaian chief-priestess of the Akonedi Shrine, one of the most famous shrine houses north of Accra. At the Akonedi Shrine, Nana Oparebea performed for Dinizulu a divination, during which she explained that his enslaved ancestors were parts of the Akan people of Ghana and gave him the mission to search for other African Americans who, like him, were of Ghanaian ancestries. She also offered him a set of altars, containing the spiritual forces of the deities revered in the Akonedi Shrine and asked him to import in the United States what was then labelled the Akan religion. Based on research led both in Ghana and in the United States, the aim of this paper will be to describe the process of diffusion, importation, transnationalization and indigenization of the Akan religion between West Africa and the East Coast of the United States. Focusing on ethnographic data, we will argue that this process can only be understood if it is placed in the context of African American identity formations. Therefore, we will show how in the context of globalization, religion and identity constructions are walking hand-in-hand, creating new discourses on hybridity and authenticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Forms of Religious Glocalization: Orthodox Christianity in the Longue Durée
Religions 2014, 5(4), 1017-1036; doi:10.3390/rel5041017
Received: 7 July 2014 / Revised: 24 August 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 20 October 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (86 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article advocates a “glocal turn” in the religion–globalization problematic. It proposes a model of multiple glocalizations in order to analyze the historically constituted relationship between world religions and local cultures. First, the conceptual evolution from globalization to glocalization is discussed with [...] Read more.
This article advocates a “glocal turn” in the religion–globalization problematic. It proposes a model of multiple glocalizations in order to analyze the historically constituted relationship between world religions and local cultures. First, the conceptual evolution from globalization to glocalization is discussed with special reference to the study of the religion. Second, the necessity for adopting the perspective of the longue durée with regard to the study of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is explained. Third, an outline of four forms of religious glocalization is proposed. Each of these forms is presented both analytically as well as through examples from the history of Eastern Christianity (from the 8th to the 21st century). It is argued that this approach offers a model for analyzing the relation between religion, culture and society that does not succumb to the Western bias inherent in the conventional narrative of western modernization and secularization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Global Halal: Meat, Money, and Religion
Religions 2014, 5(1), 22-75; doi:10.3390/rel5010022
Received: 28 October 2013 / Revised: 30 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 January 2014 / Published: 29 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (611 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The following article deconstructs (and demystifies) Halal with a view to unraveling how the religious, racial, economic, and ethico-political are articulated in and around material technologies of meat production and bodily techniques of religious consumption/the consumption of religion. It, thus, attempts to [...] Read more.
The following article deconstructs (and demystifies) Halal with a view to unraveling how the religious, racial, economic, and ethico-political are articulated in and around material technologies of meat production and bodily techniques of religious consumption/the consumption of religion. It, thus, attempts to rethink the nexus of food, politics, and contesting visions of the sacred and the profane, from within the folds of the global and global Islam. Halal emerges as a terrain replete with paradigmatic juridical and political questions about the impasses of social and culinary conviviality and cosmopolitanism. Although there is certainly nothing new about religious taboos on food on the body, Halal is far from being a personal or strictly communal set of strictures and practices. On the contrary, global Halal emerges as a new agonistic field typified by charged debates concerning the place of secularism, recognition, and “food diversity” in the global marketplace. This paper offers a cartography, both phenomenological and social scientific, of this multi-tiered site of meat, power, and belief. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Only (Dis-)Connect: Pentecostal Global Networking as Revelation and Concealment
Religions 2013, 4(3), 367-390; doi:10.3390/rel4030367
Received: 17 April 2013 / Revised: 10 July 2013 / Accepted: 2 August 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Contemporary forms of Pentecostalism, such as that of the Faith Movement, are often represented as inherently global, constituting a religion ‘made to travel’ and to missionize across the world. I argue that while much attention has been paid to proselytization as a [...] Read more.
Contemporary forms of Pentecostalism, such as that of the Faith Movement, are often represented as inherently global, constituting a religion ‘made to travel’ and to missionize across the world. I argue that while much attention has been paid to proselytization as a catalyst in encouraging transnational activities among such Christians, more analysis is needed of how Pentecostalists represent each other in the construction of global imaginaries. The imagined and enacted networks that result assert connections between like-minded believers but also valorize the power of distance in the creation of landscapes of religious agency whose power is illustrated through such tropes as ‘number’, ‘mobility’, ‘presence’ and ‘conquest’. I juxtapose two Prosperity-oriented movements, that of the Swedish Word of Life and the Nigerian Redeemed Christian Church of God, to indicate further how Christians who appear to be conjoined via common forms of worship appear, from another perspective, to be inhabiting and moving across disjunct global landscapes and cartographies as they engage in very different forms of mobility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Bare Rocks and Fallen Angels: Environmental Change, Climate Perceptions and Ritual Practice in the Peruvian Andes
Religions 2013, 4(2), 290-305; doi:10.3390/rel4020290
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 23 May 2013 / Published: 28 May 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the many dimensions of globalization is climate change that in recent years has caused much concern in the developed world. The aim of this article is to explore how people living on the margins of the global world conceive climate [...] Read more.
One of the many dimensions of globalization is climate change that in recent years has caused much concern in the developed world. The aim of this article is to explore how people living on the margins of the global world conceive climate change. Drawing on ethnographic field data from the 1980s and today it examines how the ritual practice and the religious belief of a rural community in the Peruvian Andes has changed during the last 27 years and how the villagers perceive this change. It argues that the villagers traditionally conceive the environment as co-habited by humans and non-humans but that recent environmental change in the Andes has caused a shift in this world-view. Today, many villagers have adopted the global vocabulary on climate change and are concerned with their own impact in the environment. However, the villagers reject the idea that it is human activities in other parts of the world that cause environmental problems in their community and claim that these must be addressed locally. It suggests that even though the villagers’ reluctance to subscribe to the global discourse of climate change makes them look like the companions of climate skeptics in the developed world, their reasons are very different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Tropes of Fear: the Impact of Globalization on Batek Religious Landscapes
Religions 2013, 4(2), 240-266; doi:10.3390/rel4020240
Received: 13 March 2013 / Revised: 7 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 22 April 2013
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Abstract
The Batek are a forest and forest-fringe dwelling population numbering around 1,500 located in Peninsular Malaysia. Most Batek groups were mobile forest-dwelling foragers and collectors until the recent past. The Batek imbue the forest with religious significance that they inscribe onto the [...] Read more.
The Batek are a forest and forest-fringe dwelling population numbering around 1,500 located in Peninsular Malaysia. Most Batek groups were mobile forest-dwelling foragers and collectors until the recent past. The Batek imbue the forest with religious significance that they inscribe onto the landscape through movement, everyday activities, storytelling, trancing and shamanic journeying. However, as processes of globalization transform Malaysian landscapes, many Batek groups have been deterritorialized and relocated to the forest fringes where they are often pressured into converting to world religions, particularly Islam. Batek religious beliefs and practices have been re-shaped by their increasing encounters with global flows of ideologies, technologies, objects, capital and people, as landscapes are opened up to development. This article analyzes the ways these encounters are incorporated into the fabric of the Batek’s religious world and how new objects and ideas have been figuratively and literally assimilated into their taboo systems and cosmology. Particular attention is paid to the impacts of globalization as expressed through tropes of fear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Globalization and Religion in Historical Perspective: A Paradoxical Relationship
Religions 2013, 4(1), 145-165; doi:10.3390/rel4010145
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 5 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 March 2013 / Published: 12 March 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (159 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Religion has long been a driving force in the process of globalization. This idea is not controversial or novel thinking, nor is it meant to be. However, the dominant reasoning on the subject of globalization, expressed by authors like Thomas Friedman, places [...] Read more.
Religion has long been a driving force in the process of globalization. This idea is not controversial or novel thinking, nor is it meant to be. However, the dominant reasoning on the subject of globalization, expressed by authors like Thomas Friedman, places economics at the center of analysis, skewing focus from the ideational factors at work in this process. By expanding the definition of globalization to accommodate ideational factors and cultural exchange, religion’s agency in the process can be enabled. Interestingly, the story of religion and globalization is in some ways the history of globalization, but it is riddled with paradoxes, including the agent-opponent paradox, the subject of this article. Religion and globalization have a co-constitutive relationship, but religious actors are both agents of globalization and principals in its backlash. While some actors might benefit from a mutually reinforcing relationship with globalization, others are marginalized in some way or another, so it is necessary to expose the links and wedges that allow for such a paradox. To that end, the concepts of globalization and religious actors must be defined, and the history of the agent-opponent paradox, from the Buddhists of the Silk Road to the Jubilee campaign of 2000, must be elucidated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Globalization and Religion: The Case of Malacca and the Work of Robert Morrison
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1075-1084; doi:10.3390/rel3041075
Received: 2 October 2012 / Revised: 6 November 2012 / Accepted: 7 November 2012 / Published: 7 November 2012
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Abstract
Religion has long been a significant factor in the process of globalization. In this article, the author attempts to explore and review religious factors involved in the history of Malacca (Melaka) and in the missionary work of Robert Morrison in the early [...] Read more.
Religion has long been a significant factor in the process of globalization. In this article, the author attempts to explore and review religious factors involved in the history of Malacca (Melaka) and in the missionary work of Robert Morrison in the early 19th century. Malacca has long been a meeting place for various religions in their respective processes of globalization. Robert Morrison was the first Protestant Missionary to come to the Chinese Mainland. He arrived in 1807. However, after 10 years of working in Canton and Macau, he made a proposal for setting up a mission school in Malacca, hence the Anglo-Chinese College of 1818. It was found that, indeed, Morrison had learned much from his experiences in China and in Malacca, especially in paying due respect to Chinese culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Transfer of Labour Time on the World Market: Religious Sanctions and Economic Results
Religions 2012, 3(3), 739-762; doi:10.3390/rel3030739
Received: 18 June 2012 / Revised: 7 August 2012 / Accepted: 10 August 2012 / Published: 21 August 2012
PDF Full-text (500 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the extent to which a term like “globalization”, especially in its sense of implying the existence of a system, or of dominant features favouring development towards some system, is adaptable to a theory of a world economy which [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the extent to which a term like “globalization”, especially in its sense of implying the existence of a system, or of dominant features favouring development towards some system, is adaptable to a theory of a world economy which is to take due notice of the structure of the exchange value of commodities on the world market. A leading idea is that religious outlooks, in the way they were conceptualized by Karl Marx, have a strong bearing upon the difference in labour intensities in countries contributing to the world market, and thereby upon the differences in international values and prices. These differences are expressed in a scale-based, rigid structure on the world market itself—a structure which gives us the fundamental reason why certain specific countries or areas may get steadily poorer in relative terms, while others may constantly get relatively richer through the same mechanism. Consequently, when (as it is done here) religion is taken to express the quintessence of the cultural level of societies, it can be said that the comparative study of religions gives us a key to the understanding of crucial economic differences between nations. The differences in question are primarily those prevailing between capitalist societies on the one hand, and non-capitalist, or what is here called patrimonial societies, on the other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)

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