ANTH-490 Religion and Globalization in South Asia
Spring for 2014-2015
We can now live in Sao Paolo and communicate instantly with people in Chicago. We can sit in a room in countries as far flung as Indonesia and Germany and watch MTV. Software engineers in Bangalore , India do business in Silicon Valley, California. With increasing technology binding us ever closer, and economic networks making it increasingly necessary for us to communicate with each other as a world community we need to examine the nature of the phenomena of globalization and the role of religion and ideology in the world today. Is globalization just a cliche for our times, an expression of the current 'Zeitgeist', or could it be used as an analytical tool to better understand the profound and rapid changes in the world order that we are currently witnessing? What kind of changes does the globalization process imply for the development of democracy, for sovereignty, and economic progress? And how can we influence this process towards inclusion instead of marginalization, towards enhanced democracy instead of uncontrolled market dominance? The course will specifically examine the phenomenon of globalization through the twin lenses of India and of Hinduism. India! is par ticularly appropriate since it is the largest democracy in the world and Hinduism has spread far and wide through the Indian Hindu diaspora.The course will deal with a range of material on globalization and global culture, bringing to the foreground current debates on transformation of religion in diasporic communities, cultural flows, de-territorialization, the rise of nationalism, and the role of religion in the globalizing world. This course intends to provide the student with a broad based view of the wide range of opinions and debates prevalent about globalization today. Thus there will emphasis on many apparently divergent phenomena, with students encouraged to question the nature of relation between these phenomena.
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