Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PART I: Religion and Globalization by Esposito, Fasching and Lewis

Religion and Globalization: World Religions in Historical Perspective (2008)

The preface to this book says it is a World Religions Today (which these same authors wrote) for grad students and that these authors represent Oxford Univ Press (tho I only know of Esposito who is of course one of the most preeminent Western scholars on Islam).

in Part I here, i want to talk about the introduction chapter

def of G: "G is the product of the growing interdependence of cultures thru emerging global techno-economic sociocultural networks. These networds transcend nt'l boundaries and in teh process tend to challenge previous forms of authority and identity."4

-but rel and G have been working together since first human societies when ppl from different tribes moved together (in cities, captivity, whatever). this elicited diff responses: violence, sycretism, unconscious borrowing, mutural transformation

- Jeurgesnmeyer suggested G goes w/ rel b/c rel has "permeable boundaries that absorb 'foreign' influences as they move around the globe.'
3 kinds: a) relus pluralism b) transnt'l (missionary, converting whole cultures) c) diasporas (self contained communities)

5-"pomo society" (Lyotard)=collapse of grand narratives, relus and secular--erodes confidence in rel as universal

6- also (according to Bryan s. turner) G increases trade of commodities (and ideas) which are not regulated by pol.l, relus or intellectual authorities, so they are taken up and adapted in very diff ways

-distinguishes btwn pomoty/pomo society and pomosm. pomoty=describes how G has relativized society. pomosm=is an ideology/philosophy that affirms that pluralism/relativism R good b/c they undermine the totalism authority of tradtl and modst societes

7-says present time is "in transition btwn 'modty' and a new pmo era"

-the idea that rels are disparate bodies is a monothesitic idea not found in roman times (from which the word "rel" is from)

8-it meant "to tie or bind" or "acting w/ care"

-ppl are "'tied or bound' by relations of obligation to whatever powers we believe govern our destiny"--this evokes "ambivalent feelings of facination or dread" (Otto, who also suggested that this is ppl in the prescence of the sacred.)

9- it elicits ritual and myth obligation

11- and spiritual leaders (ppl who really know the stories and texts) and therefore institutions and therefore morality which makes identity and "cosmos in which they live" (12)

12- these authors even call soviet russia (atheistic) holidays "relus" bc it makes morals

14-diff relus symbos makes it difficult to compare rels, but "perhaps the real measure of comparison should be how ppl live their lives rather than" (15) diverse symbols/concepts

17-urbanization (3k to 1500 bc) forced ppl to confront those with other beliefs and new differentiated ways of life--individual ID develops--

19-new rels transcended old local gods

25-"we suggest that there is a strong correlation btwn the pomo challenge 2 modty and the postcolonial challenge to colonialism"

26- Is modsm simply imperialism? "yes and no" no, bc it 'brings about such a profound transformation in humanity's understanding of itself that it really represents a crisis four all tratl rels and cultures."

31 says pomoty has roots in the late 19th ce social sciences that questioned all narratives, even science
-some praise it saying its the end of absolutism that ppl use to justify violence, others say relativism willbring barbarism

32- we're now in a world where everyone one, even if they are significantly influenced by their birth environment, has to choose their rel against other choices

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