Religion in a Time of Crisis

4 March 2007 at 23:26 Leave a comment

As soon I read the first sentence of this New York Times article on the resurgence of religion in China, I thought of one of the postdocs at work who researches the resurgence of shamanism in Mongolia since the collapse of socialism. Reviving the old religious practices gave the people she studied a way of coping with and explaining economic crisis.

Sure enough, as I read further, I came upon a similar hypothesis about the Chinese revival:

Chinese experts say the growing popularity of religious belief has been driven by social crises involving corruption and the expanding gap between rich and poor.

Naturally, I’m now wondering how much of the US’s current bout of piety has to do with our own wealth gap and sense of economic uncertainty.

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Entry filed under: Anthropology, Politics.

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