Religion and Globalization   /   Summer 2002   /    Articles

Religious Movements, World Civil Society, and Social Theory

George M. Thomas

There is an emerging world civil society that is shaping and being shaped by the world’s religious groups. On the one hand, when religious groups mobilize collective action, press claims, and criticize political, economic, and cultural regimes, they shape this emerging world society. On the other hand, global cultural categories and rules have profound effects on religious groups, their identities, goals, opportunities, and actions. This paper will explore this mutually constitutive relationship.1John Boli and George M. Thomas, eds., Constructing World Culture: International Nongovernmental Organizations since 1875 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999).

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