Ma Programme Religion, Conflict and Globalisation

Naam Ma Programme Religion, Conflict and Globalisation
Faculteit Godgeleerdheid en Godsdienstwetenschap
Omschrijving Why has religion become such an important issue in recent years? How does globalization affect local religious traditions? Why does religious fundamentalism seem to be rising? How do religious identities impact the integration of newcomers? When does religion become violent and when can it contribute to peace-building?

In this programme these and other issues will be studied in depth in three thematic courses, an internship or academic tutorial, and a year-long thesis seminar in which we address the pivotal role of religion in the present day dynamics of globalization. We study how increased flows of information & ideas, technologies & products, and people around the globe affect religious views and practices.
The impact of satellite tv on broadening people’s outlook cannot be overestimated. Also, access to new media reduces people’s dependency on local religious authorities and allows them to ‘shop around’ for religious views and practices. This results in the growth of transnational religious movements and the differentiation of religious authority. Religiosity is also affected by the new & hybrid forms of consumerism that appear as a result of the spread of technologies and products all over the world. While conspicuous consumerism may meet with criticism on religious grounds in some instances, in other situations we see an increase of religious consumption, as in religious tourism to sacred sites. Lastly, globalization is characterized by an increased flow of people. Migration goes hand in hand with new senses of belonging and symbols to express or contest them. Former colonial relations continue to inform the accommodation of citizens of different religious backgrounds in national ideologies and structures.
Globalization, then, is a multi-faceted and multidirectional phenomenon. Whatever form it may take, its effects are not uniform, but always locally embedded. At the same time as they open up new vistas, globalizing forces can be destabilizing as well, creating opportunities for some, while hampering those of others, thus widening the gap between elites and disadvantaged groups in society. The combination of rapid change and uncertain futures may easily foster existential uncertainty. As the outside world enters one’s direct life sphere, old anchorages lose their self-evidence. One response to such feelings of insecurity is seeking the reaffirmation of one’s identity by drawing closer to a collective. The role of religion in identity claims and acts of selfing and othering is one of the central issues we address in this master.

General Objectives:
- Knowledge & understanding of the pivotal role of religion in the dynamics of globalization that shape present-day societies.
- Knowledge & understanding of the relationship between religion, conflict, and peace-building.
- Insight in religion as a globalizing force
- Skills in analyzing political, social, psychological, and cultural dimensions of the consequences of globalization for religious practices and identities
- Skills in analyzing religious movements & organisations as globalizing forces
- Skills to scrutinize the potential of religion to provide meaning and identity in a globalizing world.
- Skills in presenting research results in discussions.
- Skills in interdisciplinary research and academic argumentation in written form.
Duur (in jaren) 1
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels

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