Transnational Religion and Fading States


Focusing on the dilution of state sovereignty, this book examines how the crossing of state boundaries by religious movements leads to the formation of transnational civil society. Challenging the assertion that future conflict will be of the "clash of civilizations" variety, it looks to the micro-origins of conflicts, which the contributors argue are as likely to arise between states sharing a religion as between those divided by it and more likely to arise within rather than across state boundaries. Thus, the chapters reveal the dual potential of religious movements as sources of peace and security as well as of violent conflict. Featuring an East-West, North-South approach, the volume avoids the conventional and often ethnocentric segregation of the experience of other regions from the European and American. Contributors draw examples from a variety of regions and world religions and consider self-generated movements from "below" (such as Protestant sectarianism in Latin America or Sufi Islam in Africa) in contrast to centralized forms of organization and patterns of diffusion from above (such as state-certified religion in China). Together the chapters illustrate how religion as bearer of the politics of meaning has filled the space left by the decline of ideology, which has created a novel transnational space for world politics.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Dale F. Eickelman
  • Ousmane Kane
  • Daniel H. Levine
  • David Stoll
  • Danièle Hervieu-léger
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boulder, CO
Publication year:
  • 1997


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