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.
'Science has long challenged religious belief, but the corresponding role of religion to prune science of idolatry and false absolutes is rarely discussed. This volume addresses that imbalance and its contributors seek to usher in a new era of mutually constructive dialogue.' Robert E. Ulanowicz, University of Maryland's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, USA 'Religion in the 21st century is a phenomenon that cannot be taken for granted, and is undergoing transformations that present us with new challenges both from a scholarly and societal perspective. The nuanced and multifaceted way in which these features are analyzed in this book should be welcomed by all who are interested and concerned with the role of religion on the contemporary scene. The combination of accessible scholarship and challenging positions makes this a book for everyone who is interested in religion in the secularized parts of the world. The volume contributes to an understanding of how it is not, after all, a contradiction to be both fully modern and religious.' Jan-Olav Henriksen, Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo, Norway 'This is an enlightening selection of essays… in this context it afford the reader a broad, and frequently thought-provoking, account of some of the challenges not only facing religion but also those from religion to aspects of secularism. The essays in Part II provide useful case-studies on how religion currently operates and may proceed to operate in the 21st century considering the tensions posed by these sets of challenges.' Ecclesiastical Law Journal 'Christoffersen et al have collected together a range of papers which amply demonstrates the merits of interdisciplinary exchange. And the inclusion of chapters by leading academic lawyers such as Silvio Ferrari shows how lawyers have much to give and much to gain from such interdisciplinary dialogue. I would heartily recommend this collection to law and religion specialists who wanted to dip their toes into non-legal scholarship. … Religion in the 21st Century: Challenges and Transformations provides a valuable insight as to the place of religion at this time. It deserves to be much-read and to provoke much thought and discussion.' Law and Justice