Source: (2006) Buddhist-Christian Studies. 26(2006): 79-87.

As the pace of globalization increases, the world’s religions find themselves in a perilous dilemma that they have yet to resolve in either practical or conceptual terms. On the one hand, the globalization of markets exerts a powerful pressure toward consumerist and materialist values, which undermine and undercut religious perspective and sensibilities. On the other hand, the globalization of war heightens the intensity of these religious perspectives and sensibilities, and distorts them in a direction of violence and religious extremism. This dilemma plays itself out in different ways in the developed and developing world, but, as the term “globalization” indicates, it is a problem for all of us. Governments, in developing countries especially, often find themselves forced to choose between one horn of the dilemma or the other, with often disastrous results as they take on or the other side in a “West versus the rest” scenario. In the long run, the only viable solution is one that addresses both horns of the dilemma at the same time, and this is possible on if, in turn, religions themselves become truly global. This will require large scale focused cooperative effort in which the religions of the world actively and jointly engage with both problems, working with governments, NGOs, religious communities, and interfaith groups to harmonize religious life with economics and to promote a culture of peace and justice. (excerpt)