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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.