[URBANTH-L] ANN: Religion and Globalization in Asia:Prospects, Patterns, and Problems for the Coming Decade

Angela Jancius jancius3022 at comcast.net
Fri Jan 2 00:03:58 EST 2009

Religion and Globalization in Asia: Prospects, Patterns, and Problems for 
the Coming Decade

March 13 &14, 2009
University of San Francisco, Lone Mountain Campus

Presented by The Kiriyama Chair for Pacific Rim Studies at the USF Center 
for the Pacific Rim

Join us in beautiful San Francisco as keynote speakers Mark Juergensmeyer 
(UC Santa Barbara), Saskia Sassen (Columbia), Nayan Chanda (Yale)-and nine 
other presenters -- explore the dynamics of globalizing forces on the 
established and emerging religions of South and East Asia.  One of our 
central concerns will be to understand "the dialectical tension of 
codependence and codeterminism between religion and globalization."   How do 
communication technologies, capital flows, security issues, 
transnationalism, immigration and migration, and identity politics 
contribute to social conditions in which some kinds of religious belief and 
practice prosper and proliferate, while others are adversely affected?

Conference Description:

Few scholars or policy makers twenty years ago could have imagined that the 
first decades of the 21st century would be a time of explosive and 
wide-spread religiosity. As modernity progressed and societies became more 
secular and democratic, religion was supposed to loosen its hold on the ways 
men and women envisioned their place in the world. On the contrary, the 
dynamics of globalization-such as communication technologies, immigration 
and migration, capital flows, transnationalism, and identity politics-have 
contributed to social conditions in which religious belief and practice not 
only survive but prosper and proliferate.
A growing body of scholarship and reportage has documented this phenomenon 
in the western hemisphere, but are these patterns applicable to Asia as 
well? With an estimated 300 million religious adherents in China (home also 
to the world's fastest growing Christian population), the world's largest 
and most diverse concentration of Muslims in Indonesia, and the rise of a 
more assertive and nationalistic Hinduism among India's 1.3 billion people, 
the role of religion in globalizing processes in Asia requires sustained 
analysis and elucidation rather than a mention in passing.

The objective of this conference is to muster the intellectual resources and 
research of experts in a variety of fields to better understand the 
prospects, patterns, and problems of religion and globalization in Asian 
societies in the near future. As noted in the recent edited volume 
Religions/Globalizations, how can we better understand the dialectical 
tension of codependence and codeterminism between religion and 
globalization? With a focus on the populations of South and East 
Asia--densely concentrated, increasingly well-informed and 
technologically-sophisticated--the conference participants and its keynote 
speakers will reference and address the following questions and themes:

- How can religious pluralism and tolerance be promoted and practiced?
- What social, economic, and political scenarios contribute to peaceful 
religious proliferation in Asia?
- Can global trends and dynamics increase the range of choices for 
individuals to determine their own religious and cultural identities?

- Are there identifiable characteristics for situations where religion is 
(or could become) a strategic political resource in Asian nations?
- How can we better understanding the codependent and codeterminative 
dynamics and patterns of religion and globalization?
- Does religious conservatism always compromise the more positive 
characteristics of globalization that are egalitarian, diverse, hybrid, and 

- Are there substantial differences in how we regard religious 
fundamentalism in Asia and in western nations, especially concerning the 
belligerent kind that resorts to violence?
- Does the globalizing character of religion impede human rights in Asia?
- Are there regional conflicts that, aided by globalizing forces and 
religious ideologies, might grow into large-scale wars?
Conference Structure
- Friday, the conference will start with a keynote lecture, then break for 
paper sessions. After lunch, a second paper session will follow, with a 
concluding lecture preceding a general reception.
- Saturday will start with paper sessions, then conclude with a final 
lecture before lunch and adjournment.

The end result of the conference will be a strategically edited volume that 
will appeal to courses in history, religious studies, political science, 
sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. We will also develop a 
website that summarizes the conference proceedings, details the key 
contributors and their work, and provides links to organizations and 
institutions that promote the study of globalization.

Please visit the conference website: 

For additional information or questions, contact:

John Nelson, Conference Chair
Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
nelsonj at usfca.edu 

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list