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Experiencing Globalization

Experiencing Globalization

Religion in Contemporary Contexts

Edited by Derrick M. Nault, Bei Dawei, Evangelos Voulgarakis, Rab Paterson, Cesar Andres-Miguel Suva

This collection of essays, with special reference to Asia, analyzes religion through lived experience and reveals how religious phenomena are inextricably linked to globalizing processes.

Paperback, 226 Pages


January 2014

£25.00, $40.00

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About This Book

Today, in an age of globalization, religion represents a potent force in the lives of billions of people worldwide. Yet when social theorists examine the impact of globalization on contemporary religious movements, they tend to focus on issues such as Islamic fundamentalism and threats to US or global security. This collection of essays takes a different approach, analyzing – with special reference to Asia – religion through lived experience. The key issues covered in the volume include: how religious impulses contribute to globalization; how religious groups and organizations repackage traditional beliefs for transcultural appeal; how religious adherents cope with external threats to identity; how new technologies are reshaping the nature of religious beliefs and images; and how local and global religious influences blend and/or clash. Far from religion being a subject of peripheral concern to globalization, the contributors demonstrate that from the most basic level of our interactions with the natural environment to the socio-political behavior of the “great religions” – and even to the profusion of folk and pop culture phenomena – the influence of religion upon globalization, and vice versa, is apparent at all levels.


“The engaging essays in this book show that religion—though intensely parochial—is also persistently global. It can manifest transnational cultural and social currents at the same time that it is shaped by them. This book explores these issues theoretically, comparatively and with special reference to Taiwan. It is an important addition to the emerging field of global studies and the growing library on global religion.” —Mark Juergensmeyer, author of “Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State” and editor of “The Oxford Handbook of Global Religion”

“A wide-ranging comparative and transcultural collection of contributions to the literature on globalization, with a particular and welcome emphasis on religion. Very thought-provoking.” —Professor Roland Robertson, University of Pittsburgh and University of Aberdeen

Author Information

"Derrick M. Nault is the director of the Asia Association for Global Studies (AAGS) in Tokyo, Japan, and editor in chief of the association’s official journal “Asia Journal of Global Studies” (AJGS). He currently lectures in world history and development studies at the University of Calgary, Canada.

Bei Dawei is an assistant professor in the foreign language department of Hsuan Chuang University, Taiwan.

Evangelos Voulgarakis specializes in symbols of national and religious heritage in contemporary times. He is an independent scholar in Taiwan.

Rab Paterson is a lecturer at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan, and a part-time lecturer at Dokkyo University’s Faculty of International Liberal Arts.

Cesar Andres-Miguel Suva holds a teaching fellowship and is currently a PhD candidate in history at the Australian National University."


Key Issues in Modern Sociology

Table of Contents

Preface; Chapter 1: Introduction – Bei Dawei, Evangelos Voulgarakis and Derrick M. Nault; PART ONE: RELIGION IN GLOBAL AND TRANSCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE: Chapter 2: Adam Smith and the Neo-Calvinist Foundations of Globalization – Christian Etzrodt; Chapter 3: Daniel Quinn on Religion: Saving the World through Anti-globalism? – Bei Dawei; Chapter 4: Globalized Religion: The Vedic Sacrifice (“Yajña”) in Transcultural Public Spheres – Silke Bechler; PART TWO: COMPARATIVE AND PLURALISTIC APPROACHES: Chapter 5: Mary, Athena and Guanyin: What the Church, the Demos and the Sangha Can Teach Us about Religious Pluralism and Doctrinal Conformity to Socio-cultural Standards – Evangelos Voulgarakis; Chapter 6: The Globalization of the New Spirituality and its Expression in Japan: The Case of Mt Ikoma – Girardo Rodriguez Plasencia; Chapter 7: Globalization and Religious Resurgence: A Comparative Study of Bahrain and Poland – Magdalena Karolak and Nikodem Karolak; PART THREE: RELIGION IN TAIWAN: Chapter 8: Religion in the Media Age: A Case Study of Da Ai Dramas from the Tzu Chi Organization – Pei-Ru Liao; Chapter 9: “Techno Dancing Gods”: Comicized Deity Images as Expressions of Taiwanese Cultural Identity – Thzeng Chi Hsiung and Tsai Chin Chia; Chapter 10: Rituals of Identity in “Alid” Belief: Siraya Religion in Taiwan since 1945 – Tiaukhai Iunn; List of Contributors 

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