Cheryl Townsend Gilkes present historical analyses. The first shows struggles between religion and governments in China, the second competing interpretations of Islam and its relationship to the modern world, and the third the emergence of African American holiness and pentecostal churches as a form of psychological survival in the face of slavery and other forms of institutional racism. Pentecostalism is also the topic of David Smilde's article, based on recent interviews with Protestants in Venezuela about their views of social change. This is followed by my own chapter on social activism among Catholics in Brazil and the chapter by Mark Rozell and Clyde Wilcox showing religion as a conservative force, in the form of the Christian Right in the United States. The final two chapters focus on new religious movements in relation to different aspects of social change. Gary Bouma examines the phenomenon of cultural diffusion in relation to new religions in Australia. Helen Berger describes the views of contemporary American Witches on ecological issues.
As societies become more secular, a greater variety of possibilities in relation to religion is likely to develop. These possibilities may be reflected in terms of both new kinds of religions and new relationships between religion and other social institutions. In the twentieth century we have seen a proliferation of ways in which religion interacts with the larger social context. The chapters in Part III offer reflections on the past and provide ideas for thinking about what may be in store for religion and for the world in the century to come.
Bellah Robert N. 1967. "Civil Religion in America." Daedalus 96:1-21.