John Hilary Martin
Indigenous societies are affected by globalization in two ways: the forces of the global economy and culture that come into their traditional homes and their own out-migration to new pluralistic settings, including urban centers and foreign lands. In the case of the Australian aboriginals in the outback, their communities become remittance economies that are similar but also different from other indigenous remittance economies in small Pacific island states such as Tonga. Though some have migrated to Australia's cities, for cultural reasons Australian aboriginals are strongly disinclined to leave their own local areas, and when they have left their local region, they have not left the landmass of Australia in any significant numbers. A major factor in this reluctance to leave is a culturally religious one: the notion of the Dreaming. The Dreaming is a powerful factor in the culture of all Australian aboriginals and has religious roots. The cultural values of the family, the Elders, and the land with its Dreaming are still largely in place in traditional outback communities.
Maricel Mena López
This chapter analyzes the context and daily life of Afro-Caribbean women within globalization in order to find ethnical praxis. This is prevailing and necessary in the actual social model where multiple social relations of power foment a civilization based on divisions and antagonism. The focus is on women registered not only within the globalized patriarchy, but also women that are being violated and discriminated against everywhere. When speaking about Latin American Afro-feminist theology, the author does not propose a sectarian and isolated movement, but affirms that a different world is possible. In the same manner, when she affirms the relatedness of our identity as women, she is conscious that, within black women, similar to rich, poor, young, old, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women, there are differences. There are infinite identities, and this is why the chapter cannot become, in the end, an object of reflection; we cannot forget that our fight is also against our particular oppression. We must fight against patriarchy, domination, privileges, and control, as these are values that dehumanize us all.
Azza M. Karam
This chapter begins with a discussion of the legacies of colonialism in the Middle East, and then turns to women and religion in the Middle East, feminisms in the Middle East, and Islamism in the Middle East. It argues that while religious discourse will always have an important role in the Middle East, it is seriously myopic to assume that the Muslim Brotherhood—and all other Islamists—are “anti-women” and “anti-democratic,” as previous nuancing holds. Even within the one organization itself, there are diverse perspectives on women's rights. There are extremely active, very well-educated, cultured, and articulate women members of the Brotherhood, for example, just as there will always be those who are uncomfortable with women's public roles. What must be appreciated is that, in tandem with regime change (and calls for it), are revolutions occurring within almost every group, party, and institution in the Middle East today.
Indigenous Christianities: Commensuration, (De)Colonization, and Cultural Production in Latin America
From the earliest moments of the colonial encounter, indigenous Christianity has been an object of scrutiny. This chapter examines indigenous Christianity in its connection with a founding problem of Latin American studies: the asymmetrical encounter of indigenous communities with external powers and the resulting complex of social, political, and economic entanglements is the origin story of the project. The discussion is framed around two correlated arguments. First, like many other “Spanish” forms, Christianity was quickly insinuated as a self-evident and potent component of indigenous experience. This had cosmological as well as more prosaic implications. Within this context, indigenous locality—the ground of indigenous Christianities—is best examined not as an insular embattled survival (the “closed corporate community” of classical social science), but as an ever-emergent project of cultural production undertaken always with respect to a more inclusive sacred and social universe. The second argument concerns the ways this founding entanglement has become constitutive of indigenous locality, and advocates approaching Christianity less as an index of degrees of assimilation or change, and more as a dynamic cultural resource and frame of continuing encounter that remains a generative component of an emerging indigenous modernity.
Jesuits have commanded scholarly attention in recent years, with Jesuit studies almost becoming an independent academic discipline. However, their involvement in Africa remains largely unstudied, even though they were in parts of the continent for close to two centuries. Moreover, after their restoration in 1814, the Jesuits played a significant role in the evangelization of Africa. This essay is an overview of Jesuit presence in Africa over the centuries. While it gives more prominence to the historical missions of the pre-suppression period in Congo, Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia, it also covers more recent presence in Madagascar, southern Africa and Egypt, and concludes with a brief analysis of the state of the Society of Jesus in Africa today. The essay underscores the challenge of locating Jesuit records related to Africa and the importance of understanding early missionary efforts on the African continent for the benefit of similar efforts in our time.
The traditional indigenous peoples of the Americas share much in common with indigenous peoples throughout the world who have been affected by the forces of globalization. At the same time the importance of their knowledge—spiritual, ecological, and social—retains its significance in this increasingly globalized world for myriad reasons. Among these are a respect for the natural environment and ecosystems that sustain life. Another is the quest for meaning in local traditions that is a counterpoint to modern development. Native American identity has been designated, decided upon, and forced upon Native Americans by social and political actions. This article focuses on Native American religious societies. First, it discusses the problem of definition and identity with respect to Native Americans. It then considers the diversity of Native American ways, creation stories based on “cosmovision,” sacred earth, sacred space, sacred sites, Native American identity through harmony with the land and life's cycles, Christianity and native traditions, and keeping Native American tradition intact in an era of globalization.
Jean E. Rosenfeld
This article examines five nativistic millennial movements that are culturally, geographically, and temporally dissimilar to find the similarities that bind them into a single category: the Ghost Dance, the Common Law Freemen, Pai Marire, “cargo” cults, and al-Qaeda–the International Jihad. It discusses features of nativist millennialism that began to be extrapolated in the mid-twentieth century with the appearance of pioneering monographs by anthropologists. Loss of ancestral land and traditional ways of life, under foreign invasion, informs the nativist school. The ultimate goal is the redeeming of these elements, by magical means—the sudden disappearance of the invading forces, the return of mythical heroes or messiahs, and an altered landscape. The distant nature of the ultimate goal motivates the nativist to relinquish present ways of life and material possessions as sacrifices.
When one considers processes of globalization in the Pacific Islands, one is struck by the extent to which religion has been central to them. There are grounds to argue that religion, and Christianity in particular, has been the single most powerful globalizing force throughout the Pacific Islands. Although the region comprises such social, cultural, and historical diversity among the islands of Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia that generalization is rendered treacherous, this claim about the importance of religion to globalization is one that holds very broadly. Urban politics are almost everywhere carried out in rhetoric rich in Christian allusions and assumptions. One can find all kinds of syncretism in the Pacific Islands. One can detect something of a general trend in the development of Pacific Island syncretisms; a trend that can be approached by contrasting cargo cults and Christian revivals—two kinds of movements that have become emblematic of religious life in Melanesia in particular.
Globalization has affected indigenous peoples and their traditional cultures in significant ways. Throughout the world, some 190 million people are identified by religious cultures that are variously known as “native,” “indigenous,” “local,” and “ethnic” religions. These are the native people of North and South America, Siberia and Northern Europe, and the tribal peoples of Africa, India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. In an era of globalization, great numbers of these people have been obliged to leave their rural home territories to live in urban milieus or to migrate as emigrants or refugees to foreign countries, where they live in new environments in newly established groups with strange neighbors. This global diaspora of native peoples greatly affects their religious life because their spirituality is ordinarily not conveyed through organizations and ideologies. In general, there has been little knowledge of and interest in the huge diversity of the “ethnic religions” to be found around the world.