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

The Liberation Theological Movement in Latin America

The liberation theological movement in Latin America

The Global Juncture

The discussion of Latin American liberation theology can begin by noting that its origins date from the same decade as most new social movements and the globalization debate itself, namely the later 1960s to early 1970s. Both Roland Robertson and Immanuel Wallerstein style this period as the beginning of the most recent phase in the globalization process or in the world-system. Among the defining features of this phase, they see a heightened awareness of globalization, enhanced concern with humanity as a species-community, and the inclusion of the Third World (Robertson, 1990b: 27); or upheaval in the realm of antisystemic movements and decline in American global hegemony (Wallerstein, 1988b). Without attempting ...

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