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Religion as identity and contestation

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Chapter Summary

Niklas Luhmann was concerned with how modern society could think of itself in a way that adequately described how the differentiated institutions of a modern society-the economy, politics, science, law, education, and art, religion-worked and formed a unity. Luhmann’s theory is a theory of modernity. As such it poses interesting possibilities for the understanding of globalization and, especially, religion in a globalized world. This chapter provides an understanding of identity and contestation from a Luhmannian perspective. It spells out the ‘how’ of identity and contestation and, therefore, religious identity and contestation in the global circumstance if religion in global society is systemic. The question regarding the form(s) that religion takes in the globalized world is left open, but left open as a contingency and not as an opportunity to close on a position of either necessity or impossibility regarding how religion operates in the contemporary global situation.

Keywords: globalized world; modern society; Niklas Luhmann; political system; religious identity



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