In his exploration of the interaction between religion and worldwide social and cultural change, the author examines the major theories of global change and discusses the ways in which such change impinges on contemporary religious practice, meaning and influence. Beyer explores some of the key issues in understanding the shape of religion today, including religion as culture and as social system, pure and applied religion, privatized and publicly influential religion, and liberal versus conservative religions. He goes on to apply these issues to five contemporary illustrative cases: the American Christian Right; Liberation Theology movements in Latin America; the Islamic Revolution in Iran; Zionists in Israel; and religiou

Socio-Cultural Particularism in a Global Society

Socio-cultural particularism in a global society

The four theoretical perspectives on globalization discussed in the last chapter are of course not exhaustive of the scholarly debate on the subject. My main purpose in presenting them is to show both the complexity of the issue and how this complexity has thus far resulted in partial or even reductionistic theories. What is of special note in the present context is that only Robertson has gone any distance in incorporating religion into the discussion; and yet his implicit tendency to give the political constitution of society priority leaves him open to Luhmann's charge of inadequate description of what the global system presently is. To gain a better appreciation of the possible roles of ...

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