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Globalization, religion and empire in Asia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns with the complex interaction between politics and religion for social and political hegemony in Asia. With globalization, however, the Christian West is confronted by the growth of a variety of significant diasporic communities of ‘Asian religions’, and therefore the issue of religious militancy becomes a pressing issue of state policy, especially with the substantial growth of Muslim communities in Europe and North America. These changes are one aspect of the growing crisis around multiculturalism, secularization, laïcité and desecularization. The chapter argues that the success of Christianity in Asia cannot be separated from economic and imperial power, and that its spread in Asia has also been a function of the strength or weakness of other religions, especially Islam. The growth of both Christian churches and Muslim mosques will more likely be constrained by growing Han nationalism and a revival of Confucian and Taoist ethics.

Keywords: Asia; Christianity; globalization; Islam; multiculturalism; Muslim mosques; secularization; Taoist ethics



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