Religion and Social Cohesion
Western, Chinese and Intercultural Perspectives
André van der Braak (ed.), Dedong Wei (ed.), Caifang Zhu (ed.)
Both in the West and in China, it is increasingly recognized that religion is not merely an individual matter, but a social force that has an important impact on society. And whereas the focus in the media today is often on the potential negative social impact of religion (the threats of fundamentalism, violence and terrorism), religion has also often been an important factor in the arising of social capital and social cohesion.
The essays in this volume focus on three themes. First of all: how does religion manifest itself in culture today, what role does it play in the development of a civil society, and should the state be active in this process? Secondly: what are the boundaries of ‘religion’ and ‘religious identity’ in a time of rapidly increasing cultural and religious diversity? And thirdly: what are the specific social practices today that result from, or inform religion?
This volume hopes to make an inspiring contribution to the interreligious dialogue between West and East, especially China. It contains sixteen essays, written by scholars from Holland, Belgium, South Africa and China.
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