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New Religions and Globalization (RENNER Studies on New Religions) (RENNER Studies on New Religions)

New Religions and Globalization (RENNER Studies on New Religions) (RENNER Studies on New Religions)

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Globalization is a predominant theme in contemporary educational and political circles. Research on globalization has become a political priority because the world has become a 'single place', as Roland Robertson formulated it, where events in any particular part of the world can, and often do, have political, economical and military consequences for the rest of the world. Discourse on globalization, however, has generally ignored the cultural consequences. Recent waves of violence that seem to be religiously fueled, if not motivated, among immigrants and refugees in Europe and their home regions in the Middle East, have demonstrated that we can only ignore culture, values and religion at our own peril. Globalization and new religions is the theme of this book. It is argued here that studying new religions in a globalization perspective offers theoretical and methodological advantages both for the general study of religion and the general study of globalization. Religions are often cosmopolitan and universal in their overall message, yet they may at the same time be utterly immersed in local interactions. This is often clearly expressed among minority religions. The contrast of the local and the global is accentuated by globalization, and, in particular, many new religions have followed suit. This book draws together a selection of top quality papers given at a conference held in Aarhus in 2002 under the auspices of the Research Network on New Religions (RENNER). The papers, which have been edited and up-dated, represent the work of leading scholars in the history of religions, sociology of religion, psychology of religion and other disciplines. They address questions that are vital for everyone in the modern world: whether approached as a reflection of world economy and power dynamics, new possibilities of communication and cultural exchange in the light of mass media and technology, increased cultural plurality in the wake of migration or as a combination of any of these, globalization challenges the academic study of religion to renewed theoretical and methodological reflection.