By N. J. Demerath III
Eminent sociologist of faith Jay Demerath traveled to Brazil, China, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Northern eire, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, and Thailand to discover the background and present courting of faith, politics, and the kingdom in every one kingdom. within the first a part of this wide-ranging ebook, he asks, What are the fundamental fault traces alongside which present tensions and conflicts have shaped? What are the trajectories of switch from prior to give, and the way do they assist are expecting the future?
In the book’s moment half the writer returns domestic to target the U.S. the simply country based particularly at the precept of a separation among faith and country and examines the level to which this precept truly holds and the implications while it doesn't. Highlighting such matters as tradition wars, violence, globalization, and the fluidity of person non secular identification, Demerath exposes the provincialism and fallacies underlying a lot of our perspectives of faith and politics worldwide.
Finally, Demerath examines America’s prestige because the world’s such a lot spiritual kingdom. He areas that declare inside a comparative context and argues that our kingdom isn't really “more non secular” yet “differently religious.” He argues that it represents a special mix of congregational faith, non secular pluralism, and civil faith. however the usa additionally illustrates the common tendency for the sacred to provide option to the secular and for the secular to generate new different types of the sacred.
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Additional resources for Crossing the Gods: World Religions and Worldly Politics
Consider the following two congregations as I described them in my field journal: “Mount Bason Iglesia” occupies a 20’ by 35’ lean-to with a concrete platform loosely connected to the rear wall of an electric power station in a hillside barrio on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The rain drums on its corrugated roof are supported by strategic 2 x 4’s, but the water leaks in from its side walls of underlapping plastic sheeting and cardboard. Four bare bulbs attract mosquitoes and provide the light, while much of the heat comes from the fervent singing and almost competitively emotional prayers from individual adherents.
This was not at all the Brazil I had envisioned. Rio de Janeiro, with its scalloped beaches and sensuous carnival, was more than a thousand miles to the southeast. By contrast, Rio Maria seemed like the sleepy setting of a stock Hollywood western, and with much the same primordial conflict between the few who had claimed the land and the many who sought it—in this case, with the priest’s help. Brazil as Cultural Multilith Brazil is hardly the only Latin American nation to offer such contrasts. But it is exceptional on several other counts.
But instead of pausing to consider its gaps, let us proceed on the premise that we shall learn much more about Christianity in the context of the five very different Christian societies described in this chapter and the next, not to mention the United States itself when it surfaces as the comparative focal point of part 2. Let us turn first to Brazil and then to Guatemala as two countries that refract their similarities differently. Brazil: Changing Bishops and Masses The boy didn’t look like a bodyguard.
Crossing the Gods: World Religions and Worldly Politics by N. J. Demerath III