Globalisation

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  • The world today is more interconnected than ever before because of process known as globalisation.
  • Religion was probably the 'original globaliser' - major religions have rapidly spread across the world through historical processes such as conquest, colonisation and migration.
  •  An examination of religion in a global context suggests that religious belief systems continue to exert great influence over social, cultural and political events.
  • The global evidence does not support the concept of a secular global world. Rather it suggests that globally religion is probably healthier than ever.
  • Gloabalisation and secularisation
  • No doubt that secularisation is occurring across parts of northern Europe; including the UK but evidence from other parts of the world indicate that religion in a range of different forms is thriving.
  • (a) Religion in the USA USA may be the exception to the rule of secularisation in the West because:
  • Consistently high level of belief in God Between 90 and 95% of Americans claim to believe in God.
  • There is evidence that the concept of God has been integrated into a civil religion of Americanism.
  • 40% of American Protestants and 50% of American Catholics say they attend church on a regular basis.
  •  About 5 per cent of the US TV audience regularly tune in to religious channels.
  • The American political establishment is profoundly affected by these religious beliefs.
  • Most US Presidents cannot get elected without considerable support from Christians especially those living in the 'bible belt' of Texas.
  • Explanations for the high levels of attendance at church in the USA
  •  (1) Will Herberg
  • To be an American often requires a public commitment to a religious organisation. Religion is the means of bringing people from disparate backgrounds together and promoting a common sense of purpose and community.
  • Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism have become more and more alike in their teachings.
  • All three religions place as much emphasis on the American way of life and its core values of freedom, democracy, economic success and achievement.
  •  High levels of religious attendance may reflect community values rather than religious values and beliefs.
  • This may not be true in the bible belt in which fundamentalist Protestant religions dominate with their strong commitment to a literal interpretation of the bible and to strict moral codes based on the word of God.
  • (2) Scharf
  • USA religion has become a commodity to sell like any other product and that the huge number of religious denominations, sects and cults.
  •  Religions work hard to attract customers and therefore to expand their congregations rather than just appealing to the loyalty of a fixed number of participants.
  •  Religion and global conflict
  • Casanova - the amount of gloval conflict based on religious differences that has appeared over the last 30 years suggests that religion…

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