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6 The Development of Modern Society and the Evolution of Religion (现代社会的发展和宗教的演变)

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Chapter Summary

Modern society, which underwent two world wars, is the historical period that has witnessed the drastic changes and rapid development in the history of mankind. Religion, as an integral part of social cultural systems and ideologies, is bound to meet the challenges brought about by social changes and transform itself in the wake of social development. Not only traditional religious churches change in their doctrines, devotional behaviors, worshiping activities, and organizational systems, but there will also be new religions or religious movements. The question of how to understand the trend of social development and the related evolution of religion is thus an important issue in the study of religion in present-day China. The things revealing of the fundamental characteristics and trends in the development of modern society consist mainly in (1) economic globalization; (2) political multipolarization and cultural pluralism; and (3) the great progress of advanced science and technology.

Keywords: China; cultural pluralism; economic globalization; modern society; political multipolarization; religion



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