Globalization, Theocratization, and Politicized Civil Religion

Roland Robertson

in The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588961
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Globalization, Theocratization, and Politicized Civil Religion

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This article notes that there has been a reaction from humanists, among others, to global developments in religion. It argues that one of the core features of the contemporary global situation as it impacts on religion is the rapidly developing tension between the widespread and disputed quest for explicitly formulated national identities on the one hand, and the problematic increase in the intra-societal valorisation of religious faiths on the other. The reasons for this include the aggressive promotion of ostensibly atheistic and secularistic ideas by prominent intellectuals in the UK and the USA. Drawing on Durkheim's notion of society and religion as inextricably bound together, Robertson sees emerging in the United States a politicised civil religion with a strong theocratic flavour, a strange paradox given the post 9/11 war on Islamist extremists whose goal is the creation of an Islamic state.

Keywords: humanists; national identities; religious faiths; intra-societal valorisation; atheist; secularist ideas; United Kingdom; USA; Islam; Durkheim

Article.  12423 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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