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Religious Pluralism, Globalization, and World Politics$
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Thomas Banchoff

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195323405

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195323405.001.0001

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The Rights and Limits of Proselytism in the New Religious World Order

The Rights and Limits of Proselytism in the New Religious World Order

(p.105) 5 The Rights and Limits of Proselytism in the New Religious World Order
Religious Pluralism, Globalization, and World Politics

John Witte Jr.

Oxford University Press

The chapter argues that globalization has propelled a new war for souls, particularly in former communist countries—a war to reclaim the traditional cultural and moral souls of these new societies, and a war to retain adherence and adherents to indigenous faiths. This competition has a strategic, social, and economic dimension, but also an irreducible theological aspect. There is no legal basis or political imperative for the restriction of proselytism from sender countries, but transnational religious groups should recognize and respect anxieties in target countries, especially when they come in with superior material resources, and may be perceived as an extension of U.S. foreign policy.

Keywords:   globalization, proselytism, culture, identity, United States, indigenous faiths

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