God and Globalisation in India

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  • Religion and development
    • Introduction
      • According to secularisation theory, development undermines religion and that modern science and technology destroy belief in the supernatural.
      • Religion may also contribute to development.
        • For example: Weber and Calvinism
      • In recent times, Sociologists have examined the role religion plays in the development in today's globalising world.
    • God and globalisation in India
      • Globalisation has brought economic growth in India and a rising prosperity to a new middle class.
      • Nanda
        • Examines the role of Hinduism in India which is the religion for 85% of the population.
          • Hinduism legitimates the rise of Hinduism "ultra nationalism," and the prosperity of the Indian middle class.
            • Increased religiosity in the middle class is the result of their ambivalence (uncertainty) about their new found wealth stemming from a contradiction between their new prosperity and the traditional Hindu belief of asceticism.
              • This is resolved by:
                • Religious leaders now preaching that desire is not bad but instead a manifestation of divinity that motivates people to do things.
                  • This "business-friendly," version of Hinduism legitimates the position of the middle class and allow them to adjust to globalised, consumer Capitalism.
                • Legitimating a triumphalist version of Indian nationalism.
                  • Politicians and the media emphasise the idea that the reason why India has been successful is due to the superiority of Hindu values.
                • Hinduism has penetrated everyday life and the supposedly secular state.
                  • For example: Indian Universities teach Hindu sciences such as astrology as academic subjects are they are believed to be able to prevent national disasters.
          • Surveys show that Indians are becoming more religious and that urban, educated Indians are more religious than rural, less literate, Indians.
            • This contradicts secularisation theory which teaches that these sorts of people are the first to adopt a secular worldview.


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