Religion In Globalization

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In studying globalization, one major factor that always tends to be present is the role of religion. Undoubtedly, religion played a part in shaping cities/regions, however, it should not take credit for single-handedly unifying forces. Rather, in viewing religious beliefs and practices, we should not perceive it as something that is black or white in terms of how it shaped or drove phases of globalization. Many outside factors such as trade and power should also be included when discussing the forces behind globalization and unification between two different groups of people. In this paper, by looking at two specific regions, I will prove that religious beliefs/practices merely counted as one of the many factors that contributed towards…show more content…
In the 16th century, Henry of Avis led several conquests that expanded the Portuguese empire. According to lecture, Henry of Avis’ goal was to spread Christianity and the conversion of “infidels.” The religious beliefs and practices of the Portuguese empire acted as the driving force behind their rapid expansion. Despite this fact, religious beliefs and practices such as Christian conversion did not serve as the main unifying force that brought people of different faiths “together.” At the time, Portugal held many traits of a globalized city/region that was a result of object-induced globalization. Object-induced (or object-extended) globalization involve cultural synthesis through commodities and other objects of exchange. In particular, the capital of the Portuguese empire, Lisbon, reflected a city of a wide variety of different and foreign cultures. In essence, these cultures were primarily brought “together” over time through the exchange of commodities and people. As more objects/commodities were exchanged, undoubtedly, Lisbon grew to be an even bigger site for the exchanges of ideas, technologies, and communication. For example, in “The Global City: On The Streets of Renaissance Lisbon,” Gschwend showcases many illustrative examples how the streets of Lisbon were filled with the blending of cultures through the display diverse people and products (food, paintings, architecture, etc). Another example would be the spread of Chinese technology for ships and the sharing of maritime travel between the two cultures. It is these displays of cultural synthesis that demonstrates that it is objects/commodities that brought people of different faiths “together,” not religion. Still, Henry of Avis’ first push for Christian conversion laid the groundwork for other factors such as the flow of commodities to ultimately help drive the people of Portugal to become more blended “together” and diversely

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