The French like big concepts, with a capital letter, and ONE definition, once for all. Modernity, Liberty, Equality, Republic... Inherited from an Imperial past, a Republican model filled with messianism and a Catholic culture (centralized and absolute), this mindset is still around, but it is less and less prevailing.
Excellent news! Which does not mean we favor a relativist approach, far from that. But a healthy and ballanced thinkink requires that concepts and frameworks should always be put into perspective and into context. One of the scholars who has helped to reach a more nuanced and dewesternized view on Modernity is Schmuel Eisenstadt, who edited in 2002 a very important book on multiple modernities.
Good news: this globalized and dewesternized view on current world changes is reassessed in a new collective research just released by Ashgate. Its title: Multiple modernities and postsecular societies. (click here to continue)
"How do you study religion and society? In Studying religion and society, edited by Phil Zuckerman and Titus Hjelm, some of the most famous names in the field explain how they go about their everyday work of studying religions in the field. They explain how the ideas for their projects and books have come together, how their understanding of religion has changed over the years, and how their own beliefs have affected their work."
Among them, French sociologist Jean-Paul Willaime (GSRL) explains, from page 175 to page 185, how he came to study protestantism in a Catholic and Secular context. A must read!
"Why do Gods persist in contemporary society? Religious revival and vitality all over the world contradict the vision of continuing declining of belief. This linear process of eclipse of the sacred in modern society has been proved wrong. Religion indeed is an expert system competent in ultimate meanings of human being and social order. "
Professor Enzo Pace is pleading for a more integrative approach of religion drawing from systems theory to consider religion as a very powerful (and unique) means of communication between the visible and the invisible.
A very stimulating book published by Ashgate (2011)
In terms of practicing Protestants, however, the rate is very different. Around two thirds (if not three quarters) of practicing Protestants in contemporary France are Evangelicals.
But lots of research still needs to be done in order to know better these French born-again citizens.
After a year-long process, let me proudly announce that La nouvelle France protestante (The New Protestant France) will be released this month!
In this big volume, written by 22 contributors, the whole new French protestant landscape will be described at length, with maps, data (including a big global IFOP survey), in-depth analysis.THis "must-have" is published by Labor-et-Fides, a strong Swiss-based publisher.
I juste received an email from Jason Zuidema (Concordia University) and I want to share the good news: a manuscript on French Protestantism in Canada has been officially accepted by Brill.
The globalization process brings specific issues: who will control the dynamics of the global capitalist economy? Two famous authors, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, emphasize in two well-known books, Empire and Multitude, that an imperial trend is currently working.
Its aim is domination, domination, and profit.
What about the religious factor? What about the role of Evangelicals in empire?
Both France and the USA do like to teach the World about values. These two great democracies share a common emphasis on universal rights, and it is no surprise if the world debate about the Iraqi war in 2003 turned around what France and what the US had to say.
How to explain that? By going back to History, particularly in studying the relationship between politics and religion in France and the US. This is what this new book is about.
In this regard, «Religion and Politics in America» is a typical «tarte à la crème». A very good (and important) topic, but hard to digest. Too many books, too many opinions, too many passions.
This particular book, however, deserves to be savoured more than others.