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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds So would you say that there is now a time that globalisation is causing religion to emerge as a strong narrative and response to the insecurities caused by globalizations to the destabilizations of life, worlds, et cetera?

Skip to 0 minutes and 34 seconds This is probably too broad a question to be answered yes– I would say yes and no, in this sense that, for instance, when I developed my theory of deprivatisation, I did it without reference to globalisation. It was simply a way I could have– and there were some mentions of it– to one of the aspects. But it was only later– because my analogy was still within the nation state and the structures of national civil society. But it’s very clear that we’ve entered– and this is my work after public religions. It’s not anymore, let’s say, framed within the territorial nation states, but it’s more the transnational dynamics of the religion. And this, of course, brings to the whole issue of globalisation.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds There is something that globalisation does, which is precisely open up the territorial orderings through the modernist state of all kinds of things– so economies, cultures, region– and to open up all kinds of possibilities. And so this is both an opportunity for religion to reorganise itself at a transnational level. But similarly, those religions that were really transnational before the mother nation state– Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, of course– have a great opportunity to reconstruct themselves.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds On the other hand, there is no doubt that also globalisation creates new conditions of inequality, injustice, both at the personal, at the social, local, global level, that perhaps then leads to religion becoming a vehicle to respond to these challenges, either to react against in fundamentalist ways or also to think alternatively of possibilities outside of the nation state. So yes, the response is one that says the problem is globalisation itself. And therefore, let’s try to close our static angle and enclose ourselves in our own closed world. Or in other possibilities, let’s go from a globalisation of indifference to a globalisation of fraternity. Both are religion responses to the challenges of globalisation.

Skip to 2 minutes and 51 seconds And both are really, really part of the process of religious revival responses. One is a response to the opportunity of how creativity religion can get involved in trying to help restructure global conditions. The other, obviously, is a response to the insecurities, the injustices, that globalisation produces. And then, of course, we have the context of global identity politics, in the sense that we are in the formation of global ummas, transnational ummas, Christian, Hindu, Muslim. And this very process of transformation lead also at the local level. So if let’s say before you had only Turks in Germany, but not Muslims. And now, suddenly, you have only Muslims, no Turks.

Skip to 3 minutes and 43 seconds So something has happened in the imaginary so that Germans looked at those immigrants not anymore as Turks but as Muslims. And vice versa, Turks view themselves primarily now as Muslims. So something has happened in these identity policies at the global level that has to do with globalisation. And this sometimes both furthers inter-religious encounters and even dialogue and recognition, but sometimes can be the source of serious conflict.

Interview with José Casanova - religion and globalisation

Professor Casanova has an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Theology & Religious Studies at the University of Groningen.

When he visited our faculty in June 2014, we interviewed him for this course. We will present you parts of the interview throughout course.

Here, you can view professor Casanova’s responses to our questions concerning religion and globalisation.

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Religion and Conflict

University of Groningen

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