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Experiencing Globalization

Experiencing Globalization

Derrick M. Nault | Bei Dawei | Evangelos Voulgarakis | Rab Paterson | Cesar Andres-Miguel Suva


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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.

“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

“[V]ery stimulating with its interdisciplinary approach and its coverage of developments not well known to many scholars from the West. For those interested in broadening their horizons and learning about religious developments in the Asian region and how they relate to globalization, this volume will be important.” —James T. Richardson, “Journal of Church and State”

“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”

"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."

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Half Title i
Title iii
Copyright iv
Globalization 1
Religion 3
About this Book 11
Notes and References 16
Chapter 2 Adam Smith and The Neo-Calvinist Foundations of Globalization 23
Introduction 23
Defining “Globalization” 23
Causes and Historical Development of Globalization 25
Calvinization and Trade Liberalization in the Work of Adam Smith 31
Conclusion 36
Notes and References 37
Chapter 3 Daniel Quinn on Religion: Saving the World through Anti-Globalism? 43
Introduction 43
Quinn’s Religion 46
Quinn on Religion in General 48
Saving the World 51
Further Criticisms 53
Conclusion 56
Notes and References 57
Chapter 4 Globalized Religion: The Vedic Sacrifice (Yajña) in Transcultural Public Spheres 59
Introduction 59
The Vedic Sacrifice (Yajña) in its Contemporary Form 60
Definition 60
Various forms of yajña 61
The Vedic Sacrifice (Yajña) in Contemporary Hindu Civilization 62
The development of Hindu civilization and its political and religious impact on the Indian subcontinent 62
Contemporary practices of yajña on the Indian subcontinent 63
The practice of yajña in a globalized Hindu civilization 65
The Hindu diaspora 65
Religious practices in the Hindu diaspora 65
Contemporary practices of yajña in the Hindu diaspora 66
Western Civilization and Christendom 68
Western civilization 68
The impact of religion on Western civilization 69
Challenges to Western civilization 70
Yajña in the West 71
Conclusion 73
Notes and References 74
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 81
Introduction 81
The Virgin Mary and Women’s Ordination 82
Guanyin and Buddhist Feminism 85
Athena and Greek Neo-paganism 88
Responses to Feminism 90
Responses to Pluralism 94
Orthodox Reactions 98
Conclusion 101
Notes and References 101
Chapter 6 The Globalization of the New Spirituality and its Expression in Japan: The Case of Mt Ikoma 109
Introduction 109
New Spirituality in Japan 110
New Spirituality as a Global Phenomenon 112
Neo-syncretism: Interaction between New Spirituality and Japan’s Religious Culture 114
Exploring the New Spirituality in Ikoma 115
The study area 115
Fasting training centers 116
Beliefs and practices 116
Structure and demographics 117
Kundalini Yoga Center 117
Neo-syncretism in Ikoma 118
“Overcoming modernity”: The sacralization of nature and the self 119
The sacralization of nature 119
The sacralization of the self 121
Conclusions 122
Notes and References 123
Primary Sources on Ikoma 127
Chapter 7 Globalization and religious resurgence: a comparative study of Bahrain and Poland 129
Religious Revival: Primary Considerations 129
Socio-economic factors 130
Religious fundamentalism 134
Moral revolution 135
Enemies of the moral order and the populist appeal 136
Hate rhetoric 138
National myths 139
Populism’s Acceptance 142
Assessment of economic conditions 142
Additional factors 144
A short-lived victory 145
Conclusion 146
References 147
Chapter 8 Religion in the Media Age: a Case Study of Da Ai Dramas from the Tzu Chi Organization 153
Introduction 153
Feminist Buddhism 154
Religion and the Media 156
Globalization and the Media 158
Taiwanese Buddhism and Tzu Chi 160
Da Ai Drama 161
Love from the Valley 163
Plot summary 163
Marriage and Family in Love from the Valley 164
Marriage and modernization 165
Kitchen and community 167
Family 170
Religion in Love from the Valley 174
Tzu Chi as a religion 174
Conclusion 175
References 177
Chapter 9 “Techno Dancing Gods”: Comicized Deity Images as Expressions of Taiwanese Cultural Identity 181
Introduction 181
Origins 182
Design Features 184
Appearances at International Sporting Events 185
Comicization and Tiers of Sacredness 188
Conclusion 191
Notes and References 191
Chapter 10 Rituals of Identity in Alid belief: Siraya Religion in Taiwan since 1945 195
Introduction 195
Ritual Practices and Siraya Identity 198
Ritual Practices and Chinese Identity 204
Conclusion 210
Appendix 212
Notes and References 213