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

1107 Words Jan 9th, 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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Nanda notes that the Indians’ success in the global market have attributed to Hindu values. These are constantly promoted by media and politicians. Ultra nationalism, worshiping Hindu gods and India itself has become a civil religion.

In recent years the East Asia tiger economies such as Korea and Singapore are now becoming industrialised. Also China has become a major global power. Sociologists argue that this success is because of religion acting similar to Calvinism. Redding sees their post Confucian values as encouraging, similar to the protestant work ethic. Similarly Berger argues that Pentecostalism in Latin America acts as a functional equivalent to Weber’s protestant ethic. He says that they embrace the work ethic and lifestyle of Calvinists aspect of life which in result its members continue to prosper.

However Berger underlines Weber’s point that religious ideas alone are not enough to produce economic development. He says that natural resources are also needed. For example while Protestantism has grown in northern Brazil, the religion lacks resources and remains backwards. By contrast, the south, which is developing rapidly, has both a work ethic derived from Pentecostalism and the necessary resources.
Christianity has also become globalised. Lehmann says that it has done this by accompanying globalisations, imposed my indigenous population and in the past 100 years it has spread because of its popular following. The symbols and
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