chapter  5
The Orthodox Tradition in a Globalising World: The Case of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Pages 19

Religion is constitutive of, and constituted by, the world we are living in. It is a ‘historical product’ (Berger 1990: vi) as both society and religion are embedded in the same human activity (Ibid: 47-48). The very modernity that eroded traditional societies and the basis that religions stood on, also create the need and room for religious activism (Davie 1999: 80). Globalisation, together with the crisis of the nation-state and the ongoing construction of a global civil society, further provides the ground for religious activism in the public sphere and reinforces the role that religious institutions play as transnational actors (Casanova 1994: 225-227). Religion, which resists against its containment in and by the nation-state, plays a significant role in connecting the global and the local and reordering social borders in line with global forces (Levitt 2006: 393). New religious movements contribute to the spread of different forms of global consciousness (Beckford 2004: 207). In short, religion functions both as a ‘world-maintaining’ and ‘world-shaking’ force (Berger 1990: 100) in the globalising world and needs to be studied within this context as it poses challenges to the scientific study of religion by bringing the issue of the nature of religion to the fore (Turner 2006: 439).