Religious Associations, Religious Innovations and Denominational Identities in Contemporary Global Cities

March 14, 2013

In "Religious Associations, Religious Innovations and Denominational Identities in Contemporary Global Cities" José Casanova argues that past theory has focused on urbanization's ability to facilitate liberation from religious traditions, ignoring its concurrent ability to foster religious innovation and transformation. Modern Western European urbanization has been profoundly secularizing, following centuries of national religious homogenization. In contrast, in the religiously diverse United States urbanization has produced significant religious innovation. Casanova contends that such trans-atlantic divergence indicates that the dynamics of urbanization, modernization, and secularization will be different elsewhere, citing Quebec and Brazil as examples. He concludes that the increasing relevance of religion in urbanization is the result of diverse religious institutionalization prompted by globalization, the growth of an international human rights regime that includes individual religious freedom, and the dynamics of the democratization of religious authority. The chapter was published as part of Topographies of Faith: Religion in Urban Spaces (2013, co-edited by Irene Becci, Marian Burchardt, and José Casanova).

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