At Home and Abroad
At Home and Abroad
The changing contours of american religion
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.
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