Futuribles Journal n° 332

Société, modes de vie

Religious Trends between Now and 2037. Religions between Globalization and Individualization

Jean-François Mayer describes here the main religious trends and the prospects for the future linked to them, in particular offering several scenarios for what may occur between now and 2037. First he looks at the main religions against the background of globalization, then he shows how much the situation has changed with regard to the ability to multiply and spread religious messages (thanks in particular to the new communications technologies), and how far religions - which for a while had appeared to be in decline - are now enjoying a revival. Islam, Hinduism, Evangelical Christianity, etc.: whether or not they are political, these religious movements are very much alive and continue to attract new members, but they are transforming themselves and are continuing to evolve under the growing influence of individualization, which is affecting or will eventually affect the whole world.
The author also examines who the new religious activists are likely to be in the coming decades, stressing the probable emergence of new currents within all the existing religions (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.) though they will lack real political clout at the global level. He wonders about the capacity of the religiously minded to bring greater unity to culturally homogeneous regions (with the inherent risk that this might lead to a clash of civilizations), and suggests that only Islam could hope to do so but that the obstacles connected with national realities make such a scenario highly unlikely.
All in all, according to Jean-François Mayer, religious belief will remain strong, probably accompanied by an acceptance of greater variety on the part of those actively involved. Competition is likely to continue and religious movements will go on diversifying, but without any single religion dominating the others.

Mots clefs :Religion

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