Religion and Globalization   /   Summer 2002   /    Interview

Interview with José Casanova

Krishan Kumar and Ekaterina Makarova

Is globalization, as so many commentators assert, responsible for a resurgence of religion?

Before addressing the question, let me introduce two qualifications. First of all, one should avoid attributing causal agency to globalization as if it were an impersonal social force directing historical processes. It is more appropriate, in my view, to think of globalization as the inevitable, structural context of the contemporary human condition, what Roland Robertson calls “globality” or “the global-human circum- stance.” The term simply denotes the fact that the world has become one single place, that all peoples have become part of one humanity and all societies part of one world-system. As such, globalization is continuous with modernity, with the capitalist world system, and with the world system of states. But the term points to the fact that these processes, while continuous, have entered a qualitatively new phase.

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