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About this product. Stock photo. Pre-owned: lowest price The lowest-priced item that has been used or worn previously. Hardcover in Good condition They are not actual photos of the physical item for sale and should not be relied upon as a basis for edition or condition. See details. See all 7 pre-owned listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. It should be emphasized that this theory was value-free to use a Weberian term. That is, it could be held both by those who welcomed it and by those who deplored it. Thus there were any number of twentieth-century Christian theologians who were far from happy about this alleged process of secularization, but who took it as scientifically established fact with which both churches and individual believers had to come to terms.
A few theologians found ways of actually embracing it such as the proponents of the briefly fashionable death of God theology in the s—a wonderful case of man bites dog.
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For obvious reasons, most attention has been given to the resurgence of Islam. But the militant advocates of holy war, who are causing the attention, are only a small though very worrisome component of a much larger phenomenon. Throughout the vast Muslim world—from North Africa to Southeast Asia, as well as in the Muslim diaspora in the West—millions of people are looking to Islam to give meaning and direction to their lives. And most of this phenomenon has little to do with politics. Arguably an even more spectacular development is the global expansion of Evangelical Protestantism, especially in its Pentecostal version.
In a revival took place in Los Angeles—the so-called Azusa Street Revival—led by a charismatic black preacher whose fiery sermons rapidly built an interracial congregation. Soon members of that congregation began to speak in tongues the defining marker of Pentecostalism. As missionaries from Azusa spread out across the United States and abroad, Pentecostalism gave birth to a number of growing American denominations. This is surely the most rapid growth of any religious movement in history.
Nor is Pentecostalism the only form of Evangelical Protestantism that has been spreading globally. The most successful of these are the Mormons, who have also grown rapidly in many developing societies around the world. The Catholic Church arguably the oldest global institution , hard-pressed in its home base in Europe, continues to be robustly healthy in other parts of the world. The same is true of some of the churches derived from the Reformation—notably the Anglican communion, which has been severely marginalized in England but is doing very well in Africa.
Eastern Christian Orthodoxy, after years of persecution by Communist regimes, is also experiencing a genuine revival, notably in Russia. Indeed, the same can be said of every other major religious tradition. Orthodox Judaism has been growing in the United States and in Israel.
In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic
There has been a revival of Hinduism, challenging the secular definition of the Indian state. There are strong Buddhist revival movements, some of them engaging in missionary work in Western countries. Japan has seen a number of powerful religious movements, some of them offering syntheses of Buddhism, Christianity, and Shinto. Confucianism, both as a religious and as an ethical system, has been rediscovered in China and in the Chinese diaspora.
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There are two exceptions to this picture of a furiously religious world. One is geographical—western and central Europe, the one important part of the world in which secularization theory appears to be plausible. The other is sociological—a thin but very influential class of intellectuals who indeed represent a global secularism. The reasons for these exceptions cannot be explored here. However, to avoid facile generalizations, we need to stress that both cases are quite complicated. While there has been a great decline of church-related religiosity in western Europe among both Catholics and Protestants , all sorts of religious activity can be observed outside the churches, from various forms of New Age spirituality to charismatic movements.
Furthermore, the renewed presence of Islam, which had a strong European presence for hundreds of years in the early Middle Ages, has led to a renewed debate about the Judeo-Christian roots of the much-vaunted European values.
As to the secular intelligentsia, there have been vigorous religious revivals in this very stratum, especially in the non-Western world. In sum: It cannot be plausibly maintained that modernity necessarily leads to a decline of religion. Some late descendants of the radical Enlightenment there are a few around may feel that it should. The answer, we think, is clear: It leads to plurality. By plurality we mean a situation in which diverse human groups ethnic, religious, or however differentiated live together under conditions of civic peace and in social interaction with each other.
The process that leads to such a situation we would call pluralization.
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