The Twenty-first Century Confronts Its Gods

Globalization, Technology, and War

Edited by David J. Hawkin

Subjects: Religion And Politics, Peace, Ethics
Paperback : 9780791461822, 230 pages, September 2004
Hardcover : 9780791461815, 230 pages, October 2004

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Table of contents



1. The Origins of Modernity and the Technological Society
David J. Hawkin

2. Religion, Risk, and the Technological Society
Conrad G. Brunk

3. Nature and Community in the Global Market
Rosemary E. Ommer

4. Media Technology and the Future of Religions
Jay Newman

5. The West Against the Rest? A Buddhist Response to The Clash of Civilizations
David R. Loy


6. Terrorism: Some Theological Reflections
Timothy Gorringe

7. Islam and the Politics of Violence: Defining the Muslim Community
Andrew Rippin

8. Disarming Phineas: Rabbinic Confrontations with Biblical Militancy
Eliezer Segal

9. Hindutva and the Rhetoric of Violence: Interpreting the Past, Designing the Future
Ronald Neufeldt

10. Buddhism and Violence in Modernity
Robert E. Florida

Conclusion: The Ascension of Mars and the Salvation of the Modern World
Michael L. Hadley

List of Contributors


Maintains that the secular West has its gods—such as market capitalism—and that veneration of these contributes to the cultural and religious unrest of our time.


This book penetrates the assumptions of Western technological society and exposes the powers that govern it. The contributors argue that it is a mistake to think that religion and belief have been relegated to the private sphere and are no longer important in the public and political domains. They assert that the twenty-first century has a set of new godsthe powers of globalization, technology, the market, and military mightthat reign alongside those of traditional religions. These are the forces to which the modern era has granted ultimacy. This book looks at how major religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism play an important role in politics and society on both the global and local levels. The new gods of technology, globalization, and war are shown to exacerbate the existing cultural divisions and religious strife that mark our time. By understanding the importance of that which is held sacred, whether traditional belief or modern practice not acknowledged as belief, the contributors help us to comprehend our present situation and challenges.

David J. Hawkin is Professor of Religious Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the author of The Johannine World: Reflections on the Theology of the Fourth Gospel and Contemporary Society, also published by SUNY Press.