Assess the Sociological Explanations of the Relationship Between Globalisation and Religion.

1115 Words Feb 7th, 2013 5 Pages
Assess the sociological explanations of the relationship between globalisation and religion. 33 marks

Secularisation theory has argued that modernisation has undermined religion. The importance of science and technology on economic development and rational worldview on which they depend on are seen as destroying the belief in supernatural. However religion can contribute to development, but most recently sociologists have examined what role religion may play in development in today’s globalising world.

This can be seen in India. Globalisation has brought rapid economic growth and has seen India become a more important player in the world political stage. It has brought prosperity to some, notably the Indian middle class. Nanda shows
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This has contributed to the relationship between globalisation and religion as it shows that religion has helped countries to develop and using the idea of protestant ethic in Latin America gives a valid explanation as to why they have grown.

A further link between globalisation and religion is explained through fundamentalism. Fundamentalism has a response to globalisation and related trends. Giddens’ describes fundamentalists as traditionalists. He sees that this is a relatively new term and sees its growth, as a production of and reaction to globalisation. He claims that it has undermined traditional norms and values. They say that religion offers certainty to a now uncertain world due to the choice which people have.

A contrasting view to this however is Beckford. He criticises fundamentalists for ignoring other important developments, including how globalisations also affects non fundamentalist religions such as Catholicism. Giddens’ groups all types of fundamentalism together, ignoring any differences between them.

Jeff Haynes argues that we should not focus narrowly on the idea that Islamic fundamentalism is a reaction against globalisation. For example in the Middle East, conflicts caused by the failure of local elites to deliver on their promises to improve the standard of living are often the fuel that drives fundamentalism. This evidence argues that globalisation has undermined traditional religious beliefs.

Religion has also

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