Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review on Peter Beyer’s article ‘Religion and Globalization’

By Mele Halaufia

Religion and Globalization play an important part of society, not only to those interested in these two issues, but those who are witnessed to culture and change. Peter Beyer’s ‘Religion and Globalization’ sees to allow a thoughtful and in-depth analysis of the place of religion in worldwide culture, and the phenomenon that has been a result of it.

In Beyer’s article, he contextualises and outlines specific definitions and ideas while supporting his arguments by providing his audience with three major ‘manifestations’ (2006) in reference to the international spread of the present-day religion. The first describes the importance of transnational migration, the second exemplifies the movements or religious organizations around the globe and what has resulted as such, and the third sees how the social and political movements have affected its country and what affect they have on each other.

Deliberately, Beyer also presents underlying queries to the readers while providing substantial examples and ideas that formulate the reader’s questions. A specific inquisition, which was most obvious, involved the establishment of globalization, particularly determining whether it started in the rise of the 1980’s or the start of civilization.

The article is very thorough; giving examples of worldwide experiences describing the cause and effects that religion has played in a number of countries, including Islam, Thailand and Iran. Moreover, he describes the religiosity of a country and the growth of religious institutions due to migrants detailing how they have adapted over time to be major religions such as Islamic, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist and Sikh.

Through Peter Beyer’s succinct ideas, terminology and life examples, he has successfully provided a detailed analysis of the relation between religion and globalization. Referring to these two issues individually and collectively, Beyer’s argument is not to be disregarded, but to be studied and understood for religion and globalization will forever be apart of society.

Works referenced:
Beyer Peter, 2006, Religion and Globalization, in George Ritzer, Ed, THe Blackwell Companion to Globalization. Malden. MA: Blackwell Publishing.

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