In the twenty-first century, religious life is increasingly moving from churches, mosques and temples onto the Internet. Today, anyone can go online and seek a new form of religious expression without ever encountering a physical place of worship, or an ordained teacher or priest. The digital age offers virtual worship, cyber-prayers and talk-boards for all of the major world faiths, as well as for pagan organisations and new religious movements. It also abounds with misinformation, religious bigotry and information terrorism. Scholars of religion need to understand the emerging forum that the web offers to religion, and the kinds of religious and social interaction that it enables. Religion...
In spite of the debate about secularization or de-secularization, the existential-bodily need for religion is basically the same as always. What have been changed are the horizons within which religions are interpreted and the relationships within which religions are integrated. This book explores how religions continue to challenge secular democracy and science, and how religions are themselves being challenged by secular values and practices. All traditions - whether religious or secular - experience a struggle over authority, and this struggle seems to intensify with globalization, as it has brought people around the world in closer contact with each other. In this book internationally leading scholars from sociology, law, political science, religious studies, theology and the religion and science debate, take stock of the current interdisciplinary research on religion and open new perspectives at the cutting edge of the debate on religion in the 21st century.
Combining the insights of scholars from the fields of religion, history, sociology and political science this book brings together genuine theoretical explorations and original case studies on civil religion, nationalism and globalization.
The book discusses Baha'i religious texts, rituals, economy, everyday life, demographic development, mission strategies, leadership, and international activism in analyses based on primary material, such as interview studies among the Baha'is, fieldwork data from the Baha'i World Centre in Israel, and field trips around the world.
Globalisation has become a buzzword that typically refers to the intensifying integration of the world economy, especially as midwifed by technological advances. It also implies a growing political and cultural sense that all humanity is globally interdependent. There have always been individuals of course who have advocated such awareness, one of them being the founder of the Baha'i faith, who formulated a spiritual equivalent as the religion's central doctrine in the late 19th century: 'Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch'. Its emphasis on global unification made Baha'i an obvious candidate for a case study on new religions and globalisation. The chapters in this vo...
The topic of religion and globalization is complex, susceptible to a great variety of approaches. This book combines contributions from many authors who examine a wide range of subjects ranging from overall theoretical considerations to detailed regional perspectives. No single understanding of either religion or globalization is privileged.
This book discusses how religion is being presented, represented and discussed on the Japanese Internet. Using examples from across the Japanese religious spectrum, it develops our understandings of religion and media and on how various parties – from religious organisations to individual critics of religion(s) – are making use of new technologies.
Millions of users have taken up residence in virtual worlds, and in those worlds they find opportunities to revisit and rewrite their religious lives. Robert M. Geraci argues that virtual worlds and video games have become a locus for the satisfaction of religious needs, providing many users with devoted communities, opportunities for ethical reflection, a meaningful experience of history and human activity, and a sense of transcendence. Using interviews, surveys, and his own first-hand experience within the virtual worlds, Geraci shows how World of Warcraft and Second Life provide participants with the opportunity to rethink what it means to be religious in the contemporary world. Not all p...
Civil Religion, Human Rights and International Relations
This ground breaking book discusses whether human rights can be forged into a common set of transcendent principles against which actions of every nation can be judged and whether such a common understanding, or civil religion, could one day become a vehicle for global peace. Eminent international scholars of history, political science, international relations, human rights and civil religion argue both sides of this debate. In Part One, the theoretical issues relating to why human rights have come about and whether they should be fought for are discussed. Part Two focuses on the reality of actions brought about by human rights ideas with illuminating case studies showing that human rights ideas and practice are generated from both the bottom up and top down by individual actors and institutions. The unique book will be of great interest to scholars in the field of history, human rights, international relations and political science in general.