Does Religion Make a Difference?
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As observed by many scholars, a renaissance of religious traditions is taking place virtually all over the globe.1 Contrary to once widespread expectations that religion would gradually disappear as a political force in modernizing societies, religious communities have been getting stronger in many nations over the last two decades or so. Their leaders put forward grievances about discrimination, raise claims as to how state and society should be organized, and mobilize the faithful into action. Social institutions such as schools, charities, and hospitals are run in the name of their respective religious denominations. In many Muslim countries, there are calls for the introduction of the sharia as public law. In India, Hindu nationalists attempt to establish their creed as the state privileged religion. In the United States, the “Christian Right” tries to capture the state for the dissemination and implementation of the eternal truth as they understand it.
KeywordsReligious Tradition Religious Community Strategic Choice Social Conflict Religious Faith
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- 67.See especially Jose Campos and Hilton L. Root, The Key to the Asian Miracle: Making Shared Growth Credible ( Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1996 ).Google Scholar