Religion in Globalization: World and Earth

By William Acres.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Following Denis Cosgrove’s “Apollo’s Eye”, this paper looks at the historical, contemporary and possible future paths of religious difference and commonalty in the three Aristotelian constructs of globe, world and earth as indicative of interrelated but profoundly different conceptions of community and meaning from whence the historicized agent is removed, particularly in the discourse on ‘religion’. By taking globalization theories, especially of hybridity and change, the nature of world is seen at a more political, mapped, and artificial level. Contemporary political containers and organizations at all three levels tend to work outward from secular ideas to accommodate and integrate extant religious conceptions. This paper asks how could these areas of commonalty be understood as bearing meaning for huge populations whose beliefs remain somewhat disengaged from wider political discourses. With reference to the paradox inherent in ‘world communities’ the nature of religions as a peculiarly western, global invention crosses worlds with history, geography, and linguistics that have now become part of a global parlance. Has globalization released a new way of understanding religion beyond the statist ideas of legislation, rights, minority identities and mapped populations? Or has the universalist ideas of the older western discourse of empire and colony been recast to ensure the continued dominance of a particular view of religion, one removed and classified as subordinate? This paper considers the new ‘subalterns’ of global movements: religious identities.

Keywords: Religion, Identity, Globalization, New Apollo, World, Earth, Rights, Environment

Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.73-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 813.188KB).

Dr. William Acres

Professor, Comparative Religion and History, Huron University College, London, Ontario, Canada

Bill Acres is completing “Exploring Religion: A Reader” for Oxford University Press, and is at work on a monograph, “World History, World Religions”, which seeks to understand the ways in which global discourses have been grounded in ideas of religion, history and knowledge circulation grounded nearly entirely in European exposure to the rest of the world, 1550–2010. He has published several papers on theories of world religions, generally motivated by an interest in pedagogy, in creating and sustaining links with other cultures in other parts of the world where the interest in religious education sits at the intersection of ethnicities, identities, origins and futures. He received his doctorate in History from Cambridge University, and has received numerous teaching and research awards.


There are currently no reviews of this product.

Write a Review