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Boundless FaithThe Global Outreach of American Churches$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520259157

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520259157.001.0001

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At Home and Abroad

At Home and Abroad

The changing contours of american religion

(p.12) Chapter 1 At Home and Abroad
Boundless Faith

Robert Wuthnow

University of California Press

This chapter primarily focuses on American religion and globalization. The local focus of American religion comes through loud and clear when people talk about their congregations. Further perspectives on the resources of American religion can be gained by comparing the United States with the second most populous Christian country in the world—Brazil. The globalization of American Christianity is part of the nation's wider participation in the international economic, political, and cultural community. Because of foreign trade and finance, travel, and the mass media, the typical church member in the United States participates daily in this wider community. Globalization intersects with faith on many different levels. Theologians and Christian ethicists have begun to emphasize the ways in which globalization challenges Western assumptions about God, prosperity, suffering, social justice, the environment, military intervention, and a host of other issues. Globalization, concludes the study committee of one ecumenical body, affects the work of churches everywhere by advancing international networks, promoting communication, diminishing the boundaries separating nations and cultures, generating in some instances a corresponding backlash of nationalism and xenophobia, undermining the traditions and lifestyles of local communities, transferring power and wealth, fueling border conflicts, and creating large populations of refugees and immigrants.

Keywords:   American religion, globalization, cultural community, political community, nationalism

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