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McFaul Offers Three Futures
by Jay Gary, April 17, 2007
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Many authors have written on the effect technology, economics, and politics have on globalization, but few have addressed the potential impact of world religions on the future direction of globalization. McFaul's fascinating book explores what others have not: the part the world's major religions--Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--will play to either bring greater peace and justice or hatred and hostility to the global village.

Ethicist and futurist Dr. Tom McFaul has produced a valuable book for anyone thinking about the future of religion. He begins by asking, "Will the global village be a place where the inhabitants experience an increase in peace and justice or hatred and hostility?" (p. 3). Over the course of twelve chapters he examines the effect that the world's major religions might have on globalization and whether or not they will resist or faciliate the move of societies toward greater social interconnectivity.

In section II of the book he compares and contrasts the views of Ultimate Reality that exist among the major religions that arose in Asia and the Middle East, and examines both the challenges and possibilities for finding common worldview ground.

Section III focuses on the ethics of the world religions, as resources for cooperation in solving human problems. McFaul focuses Section IV on Section IV most world issues such as violence and the world religions; diverse religious views of sex, sexuality, and gender; and the diverse ways politics separate the sacred from the secular.

The last chapter will be of keen interest to religious futurists. McFual develops three possible scenarios of the potential impact that the world religions might have on the future of the 21st century. They are inclusivism, exclusivism, and pluralism. Each of these alternatives are defined and described in detail with inclusivism and exclusivism occupying opposite ends of a human religiosity continuum. Pluralism falls in the middle. How will world religions respond to change? How will the "future-mix" or blend of these three futures shift and change as world religions respond to earth and human challenges before us? This question is a principle concern of this book.

The Future of Peace and Justice in the Global Village belongs on the desk of every serious student and writer on the future of spirituality, religion, violence and peace.

McFaul, T. R. (2006). The future of peace and justice in the global village: The role of the world religions in the 21st century. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN: 0-275-99313-2

URL: http://www.wnrf.org/cms/mcfaul_future-religion.shtml

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