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

Religion in Global Society: Five Contemporary Cases

Religion in global society: Five contemporary cases

The great diversity of religious forms and contexts in today's global society offers a corresponding variety of cases that could illustrate and thereby develop the main theoretical points outlined thus far. I limit myself to five examples primarily for reasons of space. The case studies rely mostly on secondary sources, except in the case of religious environmentalism where the secondary literature is as yet far too sparse. My purpose is not, therefore, to break new ground in the detailed analysis of the different movements: those already thoroughly familiar with one or more of them will find little that is new empirically. The intention is rather to show how quite diverse manifestations of religion ...

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