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Introduction A Dialectic Relation

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of this book titled World Religions and Multiculturalism, which is about new forms of religiosity and religious activity emerging in the context of their dialectic relations with contemporary multicultural realities to whose development those religions are themselves contributing more than anything else. This chapter shows the role that religion played in Obama's election and asks why social scientists in Europe encounter difficulties in understanding it. Western European elites generally assume that elections in 'modern' societies are decided on economic issues, rather than religious or moral ones. It analyses one specific aspect of religious change and continuity, i.e. that of the growing importance of temple attendance. The chapter shows that the dynamism of the Jewish world scene is marked by the diverse accentuation of the various salient components of social and religious action.

Keywords: dialectic relation; multiculturalism; world religions



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