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However, the relation between the emergence of NRMs and the globalisation of the World Society, respectively the world religion system, so far, is only claimed by the definition. The question, therefore, is: Any new approach or definition in the study of NRMs, therefore, must also provide explanations of this interrelation in order to provide more than just a point of view situated in time and space.

The following final explanations should be understood as hypothesis, which can indicate and certainly require further empirical research. One can observe this on various levels. Over time, and in response to conditions of World Society, some formerly localised or even unorganised movements develop forms of global organisation. They become shaped by the interconnectedness of communications, the development of telecommunication and the Internet, by the improvements of mobility and the increasing possibility of global migration.

To a certain extent, those organisations reflect the current conditions of World Society. In World Society, organisations serve the function to distinguish between members and non-members, insiders and outsiders, Corsi ; Luhmann , 81—; Luhmann , — in order to define addressability within the movement.

Thereby, organisation can be understood as inclusion mechanism in a global context. For example the Falun Gong movement, by now, has become a globally operating, organised movement, which even has a growingly global political mission cf. Chan ; Gentz However, not only on the organisational level NRMs can be considered as globalised religion.

Various NRMs, although they might show local idiosyncrasies, tend to open themselves up to a wider, global horizon of meaning.


Ideas and concepts themselves are taken over from other religions or cultural contexts from different parts of the world, or are presented in a way, which shows how similar, how analogue or comparable even combinable those concepts are within a global cultural context. For example in many Western Zen-Buddhist schools e. On the doctrinal level, therefore, NRMs can be seen as increasingly shaped by a global cultural context. As already mentioned, often NRMs, although inclusive and globalised on the one hand, on the other hand seem to be locally specific at the same time.

This, however, can not be understood as counter-evidence against globalisation theories.

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In contrast, it is only comprehensible if one keeps the global context in mind: In other words, the global religion system of World Society necessarily must find its forms in concrete local contexts. According to systems theory with its focus on communication systems there is no contradiction: This becomes clearer if one looks at the very same religious movements that show globalised inclusive doctrines.

For example it is not possible to provide an apartment for every employee cook, gardener, janitor, etc. Therefore, the small village around becomes structurally related by the very fact of their new members of community. For those dynamic structural relations NRMs as mobilisation movements provide the perfect form to become globalised as well as localised at the same time.

However, the analysis cannot end here. NRMs are not simply a product of globalisation but at the very same time one of its main driving forces. Keeping the above-given definition in mind, NRMs raise attention and mobilise communication on religious issues. If successful, those movements and their social visibility often cannot be ignored by religions, denominations or religious organisations.

An example of this can be found within the Islamist Al-Qaida movement. Exploiting violence as certain type of communication cf. Baecker ; Fuchs , this movement claimed to seek justice in the name of Islam. Relatively shortly after the terrorist attacks in Washington D. The American Administration almost immediately described it as an act of war, and one or two days after the attacks a significant portion of the population of the USA reacted by displaying symbols, a performance of rituals of solidarity Collins As political protests those movements clearly affect politics, but also less political communities and Islamic theologians had to take a stand within this conflict.

Reform movements and other NRMs such as Afroamerican syncretistic cults and movements in Latin America such as the Maria-Lionza cult , not only in their local setting provide new challenges and problems for religions. Taking syncretistic NRMs in South America as an example, one can show that the uprising and the success of those movements heavily challenge the Catholic Church Pinn, Finley, and Alexander , xxv, NRMs, because of their qualities as movements, are able to mobilise communications in local settings with a wider global connotation and effect.

Thereby, new religious forms become available for other religions and religious movements. Those cultural feedbacks can be observed on almost every level and affect almost every kind of religion or religious form in World Society. Again using the example of South America, one could certainly link the uprising of syncretistic NRMs and their role in and for the social net of their social context to the developments of Catholicism, in particular the liberation theology and its political implications.

Furthermore, those structures of expectations in World Society easily can become de-territorialised: NRMs in this context function as driving force and innovator of globalisation of the world religion system and its concrete, as well as its general structures and forms. The great impact and success the movement has had in the West, however, today react upon Japanese religions themselves. This becomes even clearer if one looks at the interrelations between the local-global-local contexts: By that the movement structurally links the globalised and universalised form of the movement with the Japanese context of religion and opens channels for feedback effects.

Borup; Thompson ; Clarke ; for reasons of space, however, these few examples have to suffice, only indicating what can be regarded as a more general feature of NRMs. We argued that in contemporary society one always must consider religion and accordingly NRMs in terms of globalisation and the context of World Society. According to this, NRMs must be understood as modern religious movements , which mobilise communication for religious issues. They gain their particular form as movement by their type of mobilisation revolutionary, reformative, protest, revitalisation, individualisation, politicisation, etc.

Taking this new definition, we sought to show how it can be applied to the Study of Religion in world society and improve our understanding of NRMs within the context of globalisation. This new approach led to the final hypothesis that NRMs not only must be considered as globalised but also as globalising religion.

Das Konzept der Weltgesellschaft: Genese und Struktur eines globalen Gesellschaftsystems

However, the definition given above, and the new perspective as well as the indicated hypothesis can and should be understood as starting point for further research. In this context, surely more research will be necessary, especially since the field of NRMs in World Society continuously increases in diversity as well as in complexity, but also the form of differentiation of society today experiences major changes Baecker Edited by Lorne L.

You must be joking! In Cults and new religious movements: London, Thousand Oaks, Calif: A sociological look at contemporary religion and religions. Religions in global society. Religious studies and genealogical networks. The encounter between Asian and Western thought. Read more Read less.

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Set up a giveaway. Download full text Bibtex export Endnote export. Das Papier untersucht dann weiterhin Muster der Strukturbildung, die in der Geschichte der Weltgesellschaft schrittweise an Bedeutung gewinnen: Der Aufsatz wechselt auf eine noch einmal allgemeinere Ebene und studiert Weisen der Interrelation elementarer kommunikativer Akte. It starts with a brief look at historical semantics which is understood as the history of self-descriptions in which world society realizes its own existence I.

In a structural perspective one can study these beginnings as the In a structural perspective one can study these beginnings as the interplay of globalizations and the universalistic perspectives early arising in some domains of culture and meaning II.