Salvation of Nations: Envisioning the Role of Religiosity in Peaceful Globalization and City Development

 

 

 

Religion has addressed poverty, inclusion, exclusion, globalization, socialization, concepts of evolution, migration, and political normalization. Most religious connotations evoke a sense of salvation; or the ideology that we can do better in the future in all areas of the living; and in some cases the dead (19). Interestingly, before genetic tests demonstrated that there is truly only one race of humans; ‘the human race’, religious thinkers were already aware that means of salvation, good will, and the belief in the sanctity of this universe were more important than any one race, ethnicity, or (arguably) gender. One could obviously view religiosity as an exclusionary model; but then one could also argue that individuals who view religiosity in this way do not understand the true purpose of religion. If religion is perceived in the way which values the sanctity of life; which most religions do, then one can easily see that true religions, seek to deconstruct the notion of otherness. During times of great urbanization and modernization, it seems that the deconstruction of the otherness transcends individual religious affiliations and actively synthesizes religious discourses, practices, and communities. The urban environments; because so geographically proximal, act as a catalyst for religious tolerance, synthesis, and evolution. When multiple religious identities are forced to share urban spaces, it seems that most times, the otherness becomes less apparent, and that the living world seeks to find ways in which they can dwell together in peace and prosperity (18).

This is not so say that is all peace and happiness when individuals with multiple religious and political ideologies come together to form cities. Globalization and urbanization has created tensions within the living world. Many political regimes have sought to exclude certain religions from societal decision making.  There is an apparent interconnectedness between religious power and political power in many countries. The rise of capitalism has created questions about inequalities and proper structure of urban and global stages (16). The question of how politics affect space; namely boundaries between what is deemed secular or religious. There is also the questions of, ‘Is there a need for secular and religious boundaries?’ As new forms of hybrid globalized religions form, ‘Will it be possible to determine what is religious and what is secular?’ (15). Political disparity, resource scarcity, and ultimate pursuit of a better life has influenced the migration of individuals all over the world. This diaspora has in turn created a, ‘rise in universalistic religions of salvation with immense geographical mobility of the missionary movements they produced’(14). The universalization of salvation has demanded for reconfiguration of place for religious practice and community development. Many religious groups and ideologies have had to evolve to meet the needs of its living body. Places of worship have become transformed, hidden, and demolished based on their willingness to evolve with society, politics, and the growing demands of the modern world. The religious groups who have seemingly been able to withstand the processes of globalization have accepted the notion that adaptability, goodness, communal care, inclusion, and evolution are inevitable factors for success in a modern world. Religious organizations and ideologies must understand that to maintain vitality and vibrancy on this stunning planet, they must create and open spaces for a, ‘multiplicity of cultures to come together and share their stories of salvation and belonging’ (9).

 

References:

Becci, Irene, Burchardt, Marian, Casanova, Jose. (2013). Topographies of faith religion in urban spaces (International studies in religion and society ; vol. 17). Leiden ; Boston: Brill. pp: 1-20

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