Religious Diversity and Globalization

Peter Beyer

in The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195340136
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Religious Diversity and Globalization

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  • Comparative Religion
  • Interfaith Relations



Globalization is about the world becoming increasingly tied together and integrated through such features as capitalist economic structures and communication technologies such as satellites, cell phones, and the Internet. A constant question is whether this process is leading to the different parts of the world becoming increasingly alike or whether, in fact, it is also bringing out a renewed emphasis on how we are all different. This article very much favors the latter view of globalization, not least because it allows one to understand the role of religion and religious diversity in this process—how religion contributes to it, how it transforms within it, and how religious diversity reflects it. Manifestations of religious diversity in a global context include the emergence of new religious movements, religio-political “fundamentalisms,” transnational migration and global religions, and spirituality and lived religion. This article also discusses secularization and the “return of the sacred” in the social sciences, along with religious studies and world religions.

Keywords: Internet; globalization; new religious movements; fundamentalisms; transnational migration; spirituality; secularization; social sciences; religious studies; world religions

Article.  7482 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Comparative Religion ; Interfaith Relations

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