Special Issue “Religion & Globalization” Call for Papers

Special Issue “Religion & Globalization”
A special issue of Religions<http://www.mdpi.com/journal/religions/> http://www.mdpi.com/journal/religions/special_issues/religion_globalization/

Call for Papers
Whether globalization is considered as a worldwide structured system of interstate relationships (Friedmann, 1998) or as a world “in motion” (Tomlinson, 1999) crossed by human and cultural flows (Appadurai, 1998), it refers indisputably to a new set of environmental conditions for religions. Globalization is creating new dynamics of change including transnational expansions of traditions (Csordas, 2007), deterritorialized sites, cultic areas (even parishes), virtualized and networked “communities” of believers, electronic and mediatized gods (Stolow, 2010), the universalization of cosmopolitan values and the localization of universalized beliefs (Robertson, 1992). Also shifting religious geographies (for example, Christianity turning “southern” and “black”, Islam turning “Asian”, Buddhism turning “white” and “western”) have contributed to a reshaping of global geopolitics (Huntington, 1993), an “ecological” turn in religious beliefs (Taylor, 2005), a worldwide standardization of religious systems (Beyer, 1994, 1998, 1999) and re-enchantment on a global scale (Csordas, 2007). Migrations have been – and still are – major forces for the geographic redistribution of beliefs and cults, while the world is also becoming ‘proselytized’. This does not clarify the very specific modes by which each process of mobility affects the various ways different religions are acted upon by global forces in their specific contexts. Neither does it take into account the fact that global religious changes may have nothing to do with mobility (Friedmann, 1998) but rather with global systems (Beyer, 1994). A global perspective on religious changes and adaptations in the contemporary world requires a prudent examination of different case-studies as not all religions are subjected to the same forces and engaged with similar processes of changes. Indeed, the “great” historical religions do not face global changes like new expanding religious cults or sects do. Analysis must cautiously distinguish between globalizing religions in global conditions, the impact of globalization on religions, and the role of religions in the rise and the shaping of global (economic, political or ideological) forces. This special issue aims at gathering papers in which scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds (religious studies, anthropology, sociology, political sciences, history, political economy or others) can explore, on an empirical basis and in clearly identified geographic, historical and cultural contexts, the effects of religion on globalization or of globalization on religions.

Please contact Prof. Lionel Obadia, anthropologist, University Lyon 2 at:

Keywords: Globalization, Global and globalizing religions, spiritual transnationalism, migration and missionary activism, mediatization of religions, religion and the Internet, deterritorialization and new geographies of religions.

Expected deadline: September 30, 2012.