Georgetown backdrop

Catholicism and Globalization

This multi-year project will serve to shed new light on the global transformation of Catholicism from the early modern era to the present and on the different dynamics of the general processes of globalization when viewed through the prism of the Church and its historical development in the region. The project follows the Jesuits and Globalization project in distinguishing these dynamics through three key phases—the early modern phase before Western hegemony, the modern Western hegemonic phase from the industrial and democratic revolutions to the 1960s, and the pluralist and decentered contemporary global age after Western hegemony. In each of these phases, the globalization of Catholicism assumed different yet parallel characteristics and dynamics in different regions of the world. The project will unfold in three phases over the coming years, each with a focus on a particular region: Asian-Pacific Catholicism and Globalization (2016-2018), Latin American Catholicism and Globalization (2019-2021), and African Catholicism and Globalization (2022-2024).

The initial focus on Asian-Pacific Catholicism and Globalization involved three workshops—at Australian Catholic University (May 2016), Melbourne; Georgetown University (November 2016); and Ateneo de Manila University (March 2017)—that brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars of Asian-Pacific Catholicism. The workshops addressed three key topics in turn: the early modern and the modern historical phases of the globalization of Catholicism throughout Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands; the role of Catholicism as a “public religion” in various Asian-Pacific contexts; and the relevant signposts and dynamics in the incipient formation of trans-regional Pan-Asian and Pacific Catholic institutions, networks, theologies, and identities from Vatican II to the present. The project culminated in a capstone conference at Australian Catholic University (June 2017) and a forthcoming edited volume. 

The Asian-Pacific phase of the Catholicism and Globalization Project is sponsored jointly by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University and the Institute on Religion, Politics and Society at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. It is co-directed by José Casanova and Peter Phan.

Cristo Rey Statue in Colombia

Project Leader

José Casanova headshot

José Casanova

Senior Fellow
Department of Sociology and Department of Theology and Religious Studies



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