Globalisation - religion and development
Nanda: Despite globalisation and the growth of a scientifically educated population, religion continues to be a very important part of Indian culture. Religion has grown amongst the middle classes, and beliefs have shifted away from the ‘great Gods’ to low status village Gods which are seen as being more responsive to people’s needs. The new form of Hinduism expresses the new capitalist values of India and Indian superiority.
Redding: Describes the spirit of Capitalism among Chinese entrepreneurs. He sees their ‘post Confucian’ values encouraging hard work, self-discipline, frugality and a commitment to education and self-improvement.
Berger: Argues that Pentecostalism in Latin America acts as a ‘functional equivalent’ to Weber’s Protestant ethic. That is it encourages the development of capitalism today in the same way as Calvinism did in the 16th and 17th century.
Lehmann: Talks about the globalisation of Pentecostalism. He suggests that Christianity has been so successful at spreading overseas because of its ability to slot into and incorporate elements of local beliefs and superstition.
Globalisation - Religious fundamentalism
Giddens: Fundamentalists are those that seek to return to the basic of religion. They reject the changes brought by globalisation and social change. Fundamentalism is the opposite of cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitanism is based on the reflexive thinking (tolerating other’s views, being open to new ideas, modifying your own beliefs in light of new information, not accepting prescribed ideas from a religious authority).
Bauman: Sees fundamentalism as a response to living in postmodernity. Postmodern society brings freedom of choice, uncertainty and a heightened awareness of risk. In this situation, some people embrace the new freedom but others are attracted to fundamentalism by its claims of absolute truth and certainty.
Castells: Distinguishes between two responses to postmodernity: Resistant identity, which is a defensive reaction of those who feel threatened and retreat into fundamentalist communities; and Project identity, which is the response of those who are forward looking and engage with social movements.
Bruce: Suggests that fundamentalism is found mainly in monotheistic religions which have less flexibility over the interpretation of their religious texts. Bruce also suggests that Western fundamentalism is caused by changes taking place within society (i.e. family diversity), but third world fundamentalism is caused by changes thrust upon society from the outside, for example the Iranian revolution.
Poland: From 1945 to 1989, Poland was under communist rule, imposed from outside by the Soviet Union. During this time, the Catholic Church was supressed but for many Poles it continued to embody Polish national identity. Although the church did not always challenge the communist regime, it served as a popular rallying point for the opposition to the Soviet Union.
This idea can be used to support the Neo-Marxist thinker Gramsci’s theory of when there are no legitimate lines of protest you turn to the church.
Huntington: Sees conflicts as being the result of a ‘clash of civilisations’. He argues that most civilisations are larger than a single nation. Each has a common cultural background and history and is closely identified with one of the world’s great religions. Shared religion creates social cohesion within civilisations but can cause conflict between them.
Jackson: Sees Huntington’s work as an example of orientalism, which is a western ideology that stereotypes Eastern nations and people as inferior or untrustworthy.
Casanova: Argues that Huntington ignores the important religious divisions within the ‘civilisations’.