Uploaded by Joelle Malubay


Chapter 6: Globalization of Religion
1. Why is religion global?
Religion is global because religious communities and traditions spread
beyond the boundaries of its place of origin. This is evident among countries such
as India, China, Korea, and those other countries who are known to have
embraced a certain religion but ended up having a mixture of varied religions as
diversity progresses. Moreover, there is an interaction among believers as they
merge and assimilate with one another which makes religion global, for people
carry their religion with them as it is a part of their culture and tradition.
Furthermore, two of the major factors that globalizes religion involve politics and
economic trade. The former emphasizes on the significance of people with political
power who serves as an instrument in spreading beliefs in places they conquered,
which is evident during the baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon during
the arrival of Magellan in Cebu that made its subjects embrace Christianity. The
latter focuses on how trading involves an exchange of culture including religion,
which can be validated by the Silk Road, a trans-Eurasian economic and trade
route in which for over a millennium, technology, art, culture, religion and
philosophy were transmitted along these silk routes.
2. Explain the agent-opponent paradox of globalization and religion.
Under the agent-opponent paradox, one can see the positive and negative
effects of religion and globalization, for the relationship of both is not always
mutually beneficial with each other. As religion is viewed as an agent of
globalization, the latter either supports, benefits or opposes it. Take as an example,
the expansion of capitalism and techno-scientism which does not leave religion
behind or overcome it, instead it contributed to the expansion, extension,
reinvigoration, and reconstitution of religion. Another would be the advancement
of technology which beneficially helped the human race, stirred religion to respond
actively on issues pertaining to morality, human rights dignity, freedom, and justice.
3. Why is secularization a threat to religion?
Secularization is one of the ill effects of globalization on religion. It is a
process in which people become more mundane, materialistic, and consumeristic
as opposed to become more spiritual and religious. This may have been brought
about by trade liberalization and expansion of capitalism. It has reduced mankind
into a mere thing or object, a machine, or a tool of producing goods and services
under the veil of capitalism. If this kind of perspective will not be corrected, human
beings will ultimately lose their dignity and rights which may lead them to suffer
injustice and oppression in the age of globalization.
4. Expound the relationship between politics and globalization of religion
Politics is viewed as one of the major factors that globalized religion,
throughout history up until present, both are closely intertwined despite the
emergent consensus on the right to freedom of conscience and on the need for
separation between church and state. Historically, this relationship was present
when people with authority such as kings, emperors, and conquerors embraced a
particular religion and became an instrument on the spread of beliefs among the
territories that they conquered. As such, it is probably inevitable that religious
commitments will come into conflict with the demands of politics and on the
contrary, politics justify actions, implement laws, and come into reference with
5. In what ways do the teachings of the Catholic Church guide the direction of
The Catholic Church does not have any official systematic teachings on
globalization. However, the church becomes the teacher of nations through
producing encyclicals that encourage every nation to work together in addressing
a global problem. For instance, the encyclical “Centesimus annus” by St. John Paul
II, emphasized that there is a need for the process of globalization to be guided by
the ethical principle of universal humanity, for he saw globalization as both an
opportunity and a challenge. While the former speaks of solidarity and
connectedness of people and faith across borders, the latter discusses the spread
of secularism which brought about greed, selfishness and sinfulness. Another
would be the guiding principle called Social Teachings of the Church (STC), which
serves as a tool that protects and defends human dignity, human rights, freedom,
and quality of life from the uneven and marginalizing effects of globalization.
Hence, STC restores the communitarian perspective which is essential in
preserving the family and unity of people that are vital to world peace, order, and