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Rejoinder To Chan And Chan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provokes serious discussion and inspires inquiry into the possibilities of new forms of global moral integration. Hoiman Chan’s and Shun-hing Chan’s criticisms present important challenges to the author’s understanding of religion, history, sociology, and perhaps even theology. In common usage, the term “religion” at once names those symbols that express and help bring into being many different forms of community solidarity. In the contemporary world, religion seems to drive tribal, ethnic, and even “civilizational” conflicts. The chapter suggests that the first breakthroughs toward transcendent religious and moral visions were made possible by certain sociological processes that can also be discerned in various contexts today. In any social movement, there is a complex dialectic between the private motives of movement participants and the public ideals that give an identity and direction to the movement.

Keywords: Hoiman Chan; Shun-hing Chan; social movement; transcendent religious visions



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