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Faith, modernity and Holy Ignorance

posted by Wei Zhu

At Foreign Affairs, Karen Barkey looks at Oliver Roy‘s book Holy Ignorance. In it, Roy argues that multiculturalism and globalization are forcing religion and culture to disengage from people and each other. Karen Barkey writes:

In his latest book, Holy Ignorance, he puts this talent to good use to explore a critical question about the modern world: “Does the expansion of a religion go along with the spreading of a new culture . . . or does it expand, on the contrary, precisely because this religion has nothing to do with any specific culture?” The answer is important because if religion is dissociated from culture, religious fundamentalism will become both more globalized and more diluted, and mainstream culture will become even more secular. If the two are not dissociated, religious fundamentalism may increasingly penetrate societies and erode their secular and democratic practices.

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