Theories and Cases


Book Pages: 272 Illustrations: Published: October 2001

Globalization and Neoliberalism, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies, Religious Studies

For the majority of cultures around the world, religion permeates and informs everyday rituals of survival and hope. But religion also has served as the foundation for national differences, racial conflicts, class exploitation, and gender discrimination. Indeed, religious spirituality, having been transformed by contemporary economic and political events, remains both empowering and controversial. Religions/Globalizations examines the extent to which globalization and religion are inseparable terms, bound up with each other in a number of critical and mutually revealing ways.
As the contributors to this work suggest, a crucial component of globalization—the breakdown of familiar boundaries and power balances—may open a space in which religion can be deployed to help refabricate new communities. Examples of such deployments can be found in the workings of liberation theology in Latin America. In other cases, however, the operations of globalization have provided a space for strident religious nationalism and identity disputes to flourish. Is there in fact a dialectical tension between religion and globalization, a codependence and codeterminism? While religion can be seen as a globalizing force, it has also been transformed and even victimized by globalization.
A provocative assessment of a contemporary phenomenon with both cultural and political dimensions, Religions/Globalizations will interest not only scholars in religious studies but also those studying Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

Contributors. David Batstone, Berit Bretthauer, Enrique Dussel, Dwight N. Hopkins, Mark Juergensmeyer, Lois Ann Lorentzen, Eduardo Mendieta, Vijaya Rettakudi Nagarajan, Kathryn Poethig, Lamin Sanneh, Linda E. Thomas


"[W]ell written, interesting, and provocative. . . ." — Marc Fonda, Journal of International Migration and Integration

"One cannot come away from reading [this book] without being convinced that understanding religious change today must take place within a global context." — Jan Bender Shetler , African Studies Review

“By bringing religions in confrontation with globalization, this volume offers a healthy corrective to the received view that one religion, Christianity, shall be the measuring stick to evaluate all other religions and to the received view that links a given religion to a given race. Religions/Globalizations makes a signal contribution to understanding the changing faces of religions in an era in which the old principles of colonial domination are being redrawn under the new forms of global coloniality.” — Walter Mignolo, Duke University

“This collection places the long-standing issue of the relation between religion and politics in the context of ‘post-Cold War’ developments and the rise of neoliberal capitalist globalization. The essays explore how religion reinforces stasis and exploitation on the one hand, and motivates resistance and change on the other.” — Mark Lewis Taylor, Princeton Theological Seminary


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Dwight N. Hopkins is Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Lois Ann Lorentzen is Professor of Social Ethics in the department of theology and religious studies at the University of San Francisco.

Eduardo Mendieta is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

David Batstone is Associate Professor of Social Ethics in the department of theology and religious studies at the University of San Francisco.

Table of Contents Back to Top


Part One / Theoretical Frameworks

The Religion of Globalization / Dwight N. Hopkins

The Sociohistorical Meaning of Liberation Theology (Reflections about Its Origin and World Context) / Enrique Dussel

Society’s Religion: The Rise of Social Theory, Globalization, and the Invention of Religion / Eduardo Mendieta

The Global Rise of Religious Nationalism / Mark Juergensmeyer

Who Is an Indian? Religion, Globalization, and Chiapas / Lois Ann Lorentzen

Part Two / Case Studies

The African Transformation of Christianity: Comparative Reflections on Ethnicity and Religious Mobilization in Africa / Lamin Sanneh

Macroeconomy, Apartheid, & Rituals of Healing in an African Indigenous Church / Linda E. Thomas

(In)Corporating Threshold Art: Kolam Competitions, Patronage, and Colage / Vijaya Rettakudi Nagarajan

Visa Trouble: Cambodian American Christians and Their Defense of Multiple Citizenship / Kathryn Poethig

Televangelism: Local and Global Dimensions / Berit Bretthauer

Dancing to a Different Beat: Emerging Spiritualities in the Network Society / David Batstone


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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2795-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2785-1
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