Religious Identity in an Emergent Second Axial Age

It has become almost a cliché to say that we live in a time of globalization, but the spiritual dimensions of contemporary globalization are less well understood. We are living in a time where religions and religious practitioners are meeting one another and being transformed in the process. Some scholars suggest that we are witnessing the dawn of the Second Axial Age. Professor Joseph Prabhu explored the possibility that a Second Axial Age is dawning, both similar to and different from the First Axial Age (800-200 BCE). He also suggested that dialogue and depth-encounter are keynotes of this age with profound implications for social, political and personal life. He then explored one of these implications, the character of religious identity at both denominational and personal levels. Multiple religious affiliations is now increasingly common, while many describe themselves as “spiritual, not religious.” The nature and structure of “religion” itself is undergoing a mutation.

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