The Resurgence of Religious Movements in Processes of Globalisation: Beyond End of History or Clash of Civilisations

S. N. Eisenstadt

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Abstract

The contemporary resurgence of religion is often regarded as confirming the well-known theses of a coming "clash of civilisations". This article offers an alternative perspective by putting fundamentalist and communal-religious movements into the context of large-scale social transformations, especially the restructuration of the classical model of the nation-state and the increased global interconnectedness allowing for new interpretations of the cultural programme of modernity as it has developed in Western Europe. These fundamentalist and communal-religious movements, drawing simultaneously on the religious dimension of Axial civilisations and on the Jacobin dimensions of modernity, are indeed very modern, even if they do not accept the premises of the Enlightenment, but they challenge the West’s claimed monopoly on modernity. New potential for conflict at a global level therefore arises from the multiplication of different, yet presumably universalistic, interpretations of modernity rather than from the confrontation of different civilisations.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

N. Eisenstadt, S. The Resurgence of Religious Movements in Processes of Globalisation: Beyond End of History or Clash of Civilisations. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2000, vol. 2, no.1, pp. 4-15. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol2/issue1/art1

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