SociologyExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

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SociologyExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

  1. 1. Religion in a GLOBAL context <ul><li>Lesson Objectives: </li></ul><ul><li>To be able to understand some of the ways in which religion interacts with its global context </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the role of religion in economic development in a globalising world. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Religion as a globaliser… <ul><li>Religion has long existed in a worldwide context and it has been described as the original globaliser, because for centuries the major religions have spread across the world, through conquest , colonisation and migration . </li></ul><ul><li>The world today is more interconnected than ever before – a process known as globalisation . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Consequences of globalisation <ul><li>As societies and religions come into closer contact with one another, there is the potential for religious conflict and for religious diversity and change . </li></ul><ul><li>When one society or state dominates another, people may use religion to explain and resist this domination. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural and social changes brought by globalisation may threaten cherished values and lead some to turn to the certainties promised by fundamentalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Religious ideas lead some people to act in new ways that encourage economic development in less developed societies </li></ul>
  4. 4. Religion and development… <ul><li>Secularisation – modernisation undermines religion </li></ul><ul><li>Science, technology, rationalisation destroy belief in the supernatural. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand religion may contribute to development (Weber – Protestant Ethic) </li></ul><ul><li>More recently sociologists have examined what role religion may play in development in today’s globalising world. </li></ul>
  5. 5. God and globalisation in India <ul><li>Globalisation has brought rapid economic growth and has seen India become a more important player on the world political stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Meera Nanda’s book ‘God and Globalisation’ examines the role of Hinduism (85% of population) in legitimating both the rise of a new Hindu ‘ultra-nationalism’ and the prosperity of the Indian middle class. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Hinduism and Consumerism… <ul><li>Globalisation has created a prosperous scientifically educated, urban middle class in India (IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology) </li></ul><ul><li>Secularisation theory predicts that these people will be the first to abandon religion. </li></ul><ul><li>However, Nanda observes that the majority of this middle class continue to believe in the supernatural. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Hinduism and Consumerism… <ul><li>Using Webb page 41 summarise the key beliefs of the Indian middle class… </li></ul><ul><li>Survey findings… </li></ul><ul><li>Low status village gods… </li></ul><ul><li>Optimistic about opportunities through globalisation </li></ul><ul><li>Consumerism – ‘spiritually balanced’ </li></ul>
  8. 8. Hindu ultra-nationalism <ul><li>Nanda – examines Hindu ultra-nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Survey - 93% of Indians agreed with the statement that ‘our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others’ </li></ul><ul><li>Hindu values constantly promoted through the media and politicians – Hinduism is the essence of Indian culture and identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Hinduism has become a civil religion (Bellah) </li></ul><ul><li>By worshipping Hindu Gods they are worshipping the nation of India </li></ul><ul><li>What is the disadvantage of this for the Nation? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Ultra-nationalism <ul><li>Give example of how Hinduism has penetrated public life? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this important for Hinduism? (Webb page 42) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Capitalism in East Asia <ul><li>Recently East Asian parts of the world have industrialised and become significant players in the global economy (South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, China) </li></ul><ul><li>Sociologists have suggested that this is due to concepts similar to the Protestant Ethic in Calvinism </li></ul><ul><li>Religion bringing about social change/development (Capitalism) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Spirit of Capitalism… <ul><li>Gordon Redding describes the spirit of capitalism among Chinese entrepreneurs. </li></ul><ul><li>He sees their ‘post-Confucian’ values encouraging hard work, self-discipline, commitment to education and self-improvement. </li></ul><ul><li>The effect of this is similar to the Protestant Ethic in that it leads to economic productivity and the accumulation of capital. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Pentecostalism in Latin America… <ul><li>Summarise the research by Peter Berger on similarities between the Protestant Ethic and Latin American Pentecostalism… </li></ul><ul><li>How does Berger evaluate his research? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Pentecostalism: Global and Local… <ul><li>David Lehmann attributes the success of Pentecostalism as a global religion in part to its ability to incorporate local beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Through imagery and symbolism drawn for local cultures and existing religious beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>In this way Pentecostalism creates new religious forms </li></ul><ul><li>As a result of this ability to adapt to local customs and establish a local identity for itself </li></ul><ul><li>Pentecostalism has also been successful in developing countries because it appeals to the poor, also it uses global communications media to spread its message, along with road shows and world tours. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Summarise… <ul><li>On an A4 sheet summarise the section on religion and development… </li></ul><ul><li>Make this as detailed as possible including sociological research… </li></ul><ul><li>Next lesson we will focus on the second section of the topic – Fundamentalism, cultural defence and ‘clash of civilisations’ </li></ul>

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