The Limits of a Global Economy ; Spiritual Leaders Say One Giant Marketplace Must Not Trample the Values of Other Cultures

By Jane Lampman writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, May 15, 2003 | Go to article overview

The Limits of a Global Economy ; Spiritual Leaders Say One Giant Marketplace Must Not Trample the Values of Other Cultures


Jane Lampman writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


As antiglobalization protesters scuffle with police wherever the major powers' financial or political leaders gather, representatives of the world's faiths are speaking with a quieter, yet equally intense concern.

"The American view of globalization is people all over the world ... adapting an American consumerist lifestyle. We must recognize this is not true globalization," says David Frawley, a Hindu scholar. "To the degree that globalization emphasizes consumerism and the creating and satisfying of desires, it is out of alignment with Hindu beliefs, which are about taming desires."

Recognizing the impact of religious thought on how people react in the world, award-winning journalist Ira Rifkin set out to explore why those "who come from a religious background seem so agitated by the way globalization is working itself out."

In a recent interview, the former national correspondent for Religion News Service discussed the import of his findings, published in a thought-provoking new book, "Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization: Making Sense of Economic and Cultural Upheaval" (Skylight Paths). A lucid introduction to the values and ethics of eight major faiths, the book highlights both positive and negative impacts of globalization and the diversity of views within the traditions.

"We are living in the country that is the prime winner so far, so perhaps it seems more of a success [to Americans] than it really is," Mr. Rifkin says.

To many from both East and West, globalization is not only failing to fulfill its economic promises but is also undermining cultural identities that have supplied meaning and purpose for generations. Frawley and others see its inherently secular and materialistic values as the fundamental issue.

Conflict also exists between short- and long-term perspectives. "The main concern of religion is what is best for the individual and society over the long term," Rifkin explains. "Globalization is short-term oriented - how to maximize profits today, create political stability today, raise standards of living today."

Religious groups have benefited along with others from its positive aspects - such as facilitating the spread of faith. Rifkin talks with young Indian high-tech workers who moved to the US for well-paying jobs; searching for an anchor in a foreign culture, they found deep meaning in their Hindu faith, which had been little more to them than cultural wallpaper back in India.

Those of the Bahai faith, which sees the world as a reflection of God's unity, embrace globalization as part of God's plan, but see a need for more justice in economic and financial decisionmaking.

Indeed, for all faiths that come out of the Abrahamic tradition, Rifkin says, the most basic concern is justice. "Those traditions conceptualize God as being a just God, and we as individuals must lead a just life," he says.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Limits of a Global Economy ; Spiritual Leaders Say One Giant Marketplace Must Not Trample the Values of Other Cultures
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.