Religion and Globalization   /   Summer 2002   /    Reviews

Religious Landscapes of Globalization

A Review

Steven L. Jones

Martin, David. Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish. Malden: Blackwell, 2002.

Hopkins, Dwight N., Lois Ann Lorentzen, Eduardo Mendieta, and David Batstone, eds. Religions/Globalizations: Theories and Cases. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001. 

Recently I attended a public lecture billed as an examination of religion in a global context. The speaker spent the entire time detailing the explosive growth of Christian Pentecostalism all over the world. His calculations were impressive, and his talk was enlightening, but as the question and answer period made clear, the assembled audience was unsatisfied. The combining of two rich fields of inquiry, globalization and religion, surely provided more provocative material than a long list of numbers proving that a particular religious form exists virtually everywhere. Granted, this is a significant thing to note—that any one particular religious form has been embraced all around the world is extraordinary. Given the predictions that religion would whither in the face of modernity, the fact that it has survived, even thrived, in the modern period is worthy of (and has received) much study. What is most interesting, though, is how this has happened and what it tells us about the changing contours of our social environment. Happily, a number of scholars have taken up these more challenging questions, and their works provide a fruitful field for intellectual inquiry.

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