Religion In Global Era Cultural Studies Essay

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Both globalization and religion are seen and explained in different ways from different perspectives that people have across the world. Also people see differently the relationship that those two concepts have with each other, and how they influence in each other and what importance do they have. In the days of today's new world religion is being everyday more and more evolved in our society. And for this reason people in general, along with the time improvement, they are always becoming even more religious. However, as a result of different faiths, such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism, people have different ideas regarding religion so they understand and define it in many ways from each other. Moreover, "Religions have crossed many boundaries, having been spread by immigrants, refugees, aggressors, or by the founders of the country. Ultimately, cultural differences have changed religious beliefs and traditions within religious practices. Our group simulation will attempt to examine the globalization of religion by considering whether and how it might be possible to improve the understanding and acceptance of diverse religious beliefs and cultural differences," (Blanco et al.3). In order to explain the relationship between globalization and religion it is important firstly to understand what each of them mean and what do they represent, how they are related and how they influence to each other, and then we can explain what are the clashes between them or what are the convergences. Globalization and religion in today's world are in many ways related with each other, religion has many influences in globalization the same as globalization has in religion, and regarding several issues and situations that have happened across the world we can say that there are more clashes in the relationship between globalization and religion rather than convergences.

It is know that there stand a line between globalization and religion that connects both of them together. "In thinking about the relationship between religion and globalization these days, one of two views immediately comes to mind. First, there is the way in which globalization flattens out cultural differences, erodes local customs and beliefs, and spreads a secular, capitalist way of life that is at odds with religions of all sorts. At the same time, there is the way in which religion serves as the source of globalization's greatest resistance and as a haven for those standing in opposition to its ubiquitous yet often subtle power. In both of these views, the relationship between religion and globalization is antagonistic-one of struggle and conflict," (THE HEDGEHOG REVIEW).

Firstly, Globalization in today's world has different meanings, however the most important thing that we should know is that it represents a new world. Globalization is also a worldwide growing movement for integration, such as in economics, finance, communication, and trade. Furthermore, "it refers to developments that in many senses have been going on for a very long time," (Beyer,1). According to Merriam Webster globalization is explained as a "Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation technologies and services, mass migration and the movement of people, a level of economic activity that has outgrown national markets through industrial combinations and commercial groupings that cross national frontiers, and international agreements that reduce the cost of doing business in foreign countries," (2007).

Religion is a belief system in which people rely to believe, based on the views that people have about what relationship they have with the world, and how the life is explained about its meaning and where it begins its origin. Moreover, "religion is a very old word in many languages, but it has in comparatively recent times acquired important new meanings that have everything to do with what we now call globalization,"(Beyer,1). Each religion has its symbols and traditions that differ from other religions, and based on those symbols they give meaning to the life and to the world. Regarding to this people build their lifestyle and their behaviors, related to the religion that they belief to. In other words religion is explained as "as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs," (BBC).

In some terms religion and globalization are inseparable. Related to the question about "how religion is globally institutionalized" it can be explained by three institutional manifestations that have had the most important influence in the global spread of religion, such as: transnational movements, religious organizations and movements, and social and political movements, (Bayer). Regarding the first approach, people move from one part of the world to another for different reasons, as they escape from war or they migrate to another country because they want to create better life conditions for them. When people migrate from one country to another they take with them they culture and believes, and wherever they go they try to recreate their society with the same culture and believes that they have. Furthermore, depending on what religion they believe they built their object on their neighborhoods, their churches, mosques, or temples. Because whenever they go they want to have a place that represent their cultural believes and a place where they can go to pray for themselves and their families. And in this way religion is spread throughout the world. Because as people move from one part of the world to another, as they take their culture with them they take also their religion on which they believe and which it represents them. It is known that many people around the world that are migrants are represented firstly based on their cultural believes, as firstly they will present themselves by telling on which religion they believe to.

Moreover, regarding the second approach, about the globalization of religious movements and organization, introduces that "the spread of religious ideologies, institutions and specialists has been a major factor in the historical establishment of the contemporary globalized situation, as well as in the creation of different sub-global but still vast civilizations of the past," (Bayer). An example of this can be the "the role of Islam in the creation of empires from North Africa to central and south Asia after the sixth century CE. At its height, Islamic civilization extended from South-east Asia to central Africa, structuring the most global of all social systems before the modern era," (Bayer).

The third approach that is about the political movement that are happening in our global society it is "no mere coincidence that the political impact of religion in developments ranging from the Islamic revolution in Iran and the New Christian Right in the United States to the Hindu nationalism of the Bharatiya Janata Party in India and the religiously defined cleavages of Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim in the former Yugoslavia appeared on the global scene at roughly the same time as the notion of globalization," (Bayer, 7). "Thus does religion serve as a globally present way of making cultural difference a prime structural feature of a globalized world that also relativizes all such differences by incorporating everyone in a single social system," (Bayer).

There are many situations that have happened throughout the world, that have violated religious faith and globalization. One of the biggest situation that can be taken as an example to describe the clashes between religious faith and globalization relationship is the situation that has happened in New York in September 2011, which was a terrorist attacks, also known as the case 9/11. This is one of the situations where both religion and globalization have been violated from extremist for religious motives. This situation "called everyone's attention to these specific problems and to the larger puzzle posed by the relationship between religion and globalization. But they did more: they also presented an urgent need to make some sense of it. That humans are becoming more and more closely connected on this earth and that this connection breeds tensions, misunderstandings, and violence suggests that we need to think hard about the ways we can live with our differences in peace. Agreement may not be an achievable or desirable goal, but finding possibilities for coexistence in the midst of disagreement must be," (THE HEDGEHOG REVIEW).

Civilization has made the world to be defined not based on the nation state but based on differences of civilizations. In this way as the clash of civilization happen it will also control global politics. As a result that civilization identity is having an importance every day more, according to Huntington, in the future there will be a clash between states as a result of different perspectives and views that people have. According to Huntington, he states that there are several reasons that will cause a clash of civilization, such as: different fundamental views between those groups, rapidly increasing interaction between these civilizations, the third one is because of the modernization, as the nation every day is less seen as a source of identity, as a result of the development of the civilization the West is at the top of its authority, and the last one is the reason that recent economic regionalization is creating as a result that is constantly increasing and thus influences in common to cultures gather in order to created terms like "us" against "them", (4).

The first reason that the clash of civilization will occur is regarding basic differences that are between civilizations. Civilizations differ from one another based on the "history, language, culture, tradition, but most important based on the religion," (Huntington). These basic differences firstly include the view that people have among the relationship that stands between man and God. Then also they differ in the perspectives that they have regarding relationship or connection that parents have with their children, connection and relationship that stands between man and women or husband and wife, etc. moreover they also view in a different way the position of the rights and responsibilities that people's should have. Furthermore, those differences that stand between civilizations are the reasons that have caused violence conflicts, (Huntington).

The second reason of the clash of civilization is because of the interaction between people from different civilization. According to Huntington this reason means that "the interaction between people from different civilizations are increasing; these increasing interactions intensify civilization consciousness and awareness of differences between civilizations and commonalities within civilizations," (5). And then as a result of this interaction between people that come from different civilization will be created the animosities between people.

The third reason has to do with the economic modernization but also with the social changes that are happening. This is because those changes are "separating peoples from longstanding local identities," (Huntington, 5), and the nation is becoming less seen as a source of identity. This influence on other nations, or on the non-Wests, as now they try to reach to control the world, and control it in the non-Wests ways.

Another reason is that cultural variances and appearances are less changeable. This means that people around the world can be born and can be presented as for example half French and half Arab, but they can never be half-Muslim and half- Catholic.

And the last reason is that economic decentralization is changing every day, as it is increasing, and it is predicted that will continue to increase also in the future. According to Huntington "Successful economic regionalism will reinforce civilization-consciousness. On the other hand, economic regionalism may succeed only when it is rooted in a common civilization," (6).

As a conclusion we can say that in order to understand the relationship between religion and globalization firstly we should understand what both of them mean. In this way we can understand what importance has religion in today's world, or in today's global era. Each of them has influence on the other one, the same as globalization has in religion, and religion has in globalization also. Furthermore, religion is an old phenomena as on the other hand globalization is the new one, in other words globalization is the new world. According to several situations that have happened across the world, we can easily say that between globalization and religion that are more clashes that stand in between rather than convergences. Here are included the clash of civilization, that according to several reasons will happen in the near future. Those reason that will cause the clash of civilization are: different fundamental views between those groups, rapidly increasing interaction between these civilizations, the third one is because of the modernization, as the nation every day is less seen as a source of identity, as a result of the development of the civilization the West is at the top of its authority, and the last one is the reason that recent economic regionalization is creating as a result that is constantly increasing and thus influences in common to cultures gather in order to created terms like "us" against "them".

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1-15. MyCourses. 2007. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

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