In the twenty-first century, religious life is increasingly moving from churches, mosques and temples onto the Internet. Today, anyone can go online and seek a new form of religious expression without ever encountering a physical place of worship, or an ordained teacher or priest. The digital age offers virtual worship, cyber-prayers and talk-boards for all of the major world faiths, as well as for pagan organisations and new religious movements. It also abounds with misinformation, religious bigotry and information terrorism. Scholars of religion need to understand the emerging forum that the web offers to religion, and the kinds of religious and social interaction that it enables. Religion...
In spite of the debate about secularization or de-secularization, the existential-bodily need for religion is basically the same as always. What have been changed are the horizons within which religions are interpreted and the relationships within which religions are integrated. This book explores how religions continue to challenge secular democracy and science, and how religions are themselves being challenged by secular values and practices. All traditions - whether religious or secular - experience a struggle over authority, and this struggle seems to intensify with globalization, as it has brought people around the world in closer contact with each other. In this book internationally leading scholars from sociology, law, political science, religious studies, theology and the religion and science debate, take stock of the current interdisciplinary research on religion and open new perspectives at the cutting edge of the debate on religion in the 21st century.
Combining the insights of scholars from the fields of religion, history, sociology and political science this book brings together genuine theoretical explorations and original case studies on civil religion, nationalism and globalization.
The book discusses Baha'i religious texts, rituals, economy, everyday life, demographic development, mission strategies, leadership, and international activism in analyses based on primary material, such as interview studies among the Baha'is, fieldwork data from the Baha'i World Centre in Israel, and field trips around the world.
The topic of religion and globalization is complex, susceptible to a great variety of approaches. This book combines contributions from many authors who examine a wide range of subjects ranging from overall theoretical considerations to detailed regional perspectives. No single understanding of either religion or globalization is privileged.
This book discusses how religion is being presented, represented and discussed on the Japanese Internet. Using examples from across the Japanese religious spectrum, it develops our understandings of religion and media and on how various parties – from religious organisations to individual critics of religion(s) – are making use of new technologies.
Video games and virtual worlds can rearrange or replace religious practice as designers and users collaborate in the production of a new spiritual marketplace. Using 'World of Warcraft' and 'Second Life' as case studies, this book shows that many residents now use virtual worlds to reimagine their traditions and work to restore them to 'authentic' sanctity or replace religious institutions with virtual world communities that provide meaning and purpose to human life.
This companion provides an indispensable overview of contemporary and classical issues in social and cultural anthropology. Although anthropology has expanded greatly over time in terms of the diversity of topics in which its practitioners engage, many of the broad themes and topics at the heart of anthropological thought remain perennially vital, such as understanding order and change, diversity and continuity, and conflict and co-operation in the reproduction of social life. Bringing together leading scholars in the field, the contributors to this volume provide us with thoughtful and fruitful ways of thinking about a number of contemporary and long-standing arenas of work where both established and more recent researchers are engaged. The companion begins by exploring classic topics such as Religion; Rituals; Language and Culture; Violence; and Gender. This is followed by a focus on current developments within the discipline including Human Rights; Globalization; and Diasporas and Cosmopolitanism. It provides an interesting and challenging look at the state of current thinking in anthropology, serving as a rich resource for scholars and students alike.
Civil Religion, Human Rights and International Relations
This ground breaking book discusses whether human rights can be forged into a common set of transcendent principles against which actions of every nation can be judged and whether such a common understanding, or civil religion, could one day become a vehicle for global peace. Eminent international scholars of history, political science, international relations, human rights and civil religion argue both sides of this debate. In Part One, the theoretical issues relating to why human rights have come about and whether they should be fought for are discussed. Part Two focuses on the reality of actions brought about by human rights ideas with illuminating case studies showing that human rights ideas and practice are generated from both the bottom up and top down by individual actors and institutions. The unique book will be of great interest to scholars in the field of history, human rights, international relations and political science in general.