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October 2021

Baha'i: A religious approach to globalization

Journal/Book: Soc Compass. 1999; 46: 6 Bonhill Street, London, England EC2a 4Pu. Sage Publications Ltd. 47-56.

Abstract: Globalization brings with it an increased relativization of religious values between different communities. According to Peter Beyer, religious organizations, faced with the relativization of their moral codes, react in one of two ways: the liberal or the conservative option. Conservatives reject religious pluralism, striving for the adoption of their own values in the political arena. Liberals, however, accept religious pluralism as a consequence of globalization. The Islamic revolution in Iran is an example of the conservative response; Baha'i, in contrast, seems to be a clear expression of the liberal approach. Data gathered about the Baha'is in Denmark, including the author's own fieldwork, suggest that they have a liberal and cosmopolitan outlook. They are shown to be promoting world citizenship-yet, at the same time, since they view their religious doctrine as the foundation of an international politics with an ultimate aim of merging political and religious institutions, Baha'is may be found to be following the same trajectory as conservative religious organizations.

Note: Article Warburg M, Univ Copenhagen, Dept Hist Religions, Artillerivej 86, Copenhagen S, DENMARK

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