Peter Beyer, a distinguished sociologist of religion, presents a way of understanding religion in a contemporary global society - by analyzing it as a dimension of the historical process of globalization. Introducing theories of globalization and showing how they can be applied to world religions, Beyer reveals the nature of the contested category of ‘religion’: what it means, what it includes and what it implies in the world today.
Written with exceptional clarity and illustrated with lively and diverse examples ranging from Islam and Hinduism to African traditional religions and new age spirituality, this is a fascinating overview of how religion has developed in a globalized society. It is recommended reading for students taking courses on sociology of religion, religion and globalization, and religion and modernity.
Acknowledgements Introduction: Religion as Concept and Social Reality in Global Society 1. Globalization and Global Society 2. The Religious System of Global Society 3. Formation and Re-Formation of Abrahamic Religions: Christianity and Islam 4. The Realization of Hinduism 5. Refusal and Appropriation in East Asia: Confucianism and Shinto 6. New Religions, Non-Institutionalized Religiosity and the Control of a Contested Category Conclusion Bibliography Index