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'Religion' in global culture: New directions in an increasingly self-conscious world

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Chapter Summary

Globalization involves much more than our newfound ability to telephone friends on the other side of the world. It involves more than the complex network of trade relations that bring coffee and tea to our breakfast tables. These connections both support and depend on an increasingly globalized culture, one that imagines the world much differently than was the case in previous eras. This chapter explores certain aspects of this emerging global culture, focusing on the role that religions have played and are playing in it. New is the idea that all people have a religion, and that they have a certain kind of relationship to this religion. The chapter outlines how religion has aided such ideas’ growth, as well as the role that such ideas have played in shaping contemporary religion. It examines the quasi-religious nature of some of these ideas-and the social consequences of such quasi-religiosity.

Keywords: global culture; religious conflict; Self-Conscious World; social system



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