Informit article: Whither religion in a world of compounding crises?

While selected articles are available in full on this website, all Arena Quarterly, Arena Magazine and Arena Journal articles are available for purchase in PDF format from Informit.


Though a significant minority across the world enjoy the gross material benefits of a prodigiously productive global economy, our planet is at the same time beset by escalating system-level crises. Deep economic inequality is intensifying both between and within national polities. Ecological degradation is calling into question the future of the earth as we know it, with disruptive climate change only the most prominent issue. Global (dis)order is stoking increased militarisation, including the possession of planet-destroying arsenals of nuclear weapons by a growing number of nation states and potentially by non-state actors. Democratic institutions and practices are being hollowed out from within, including from with – in supposedly mature liberal democracies. And there are crosscutting crises of existential meaning. In all of this, religion has an ambiguous place. Entrenched civil conflicts, fuelled by modern cleavages, are, for example, being fought in the name of deep ethnic and religious animosities. Religion, or to be more precise, one religious creed – Islam – is being used to name the reason for the militarisation of public security and border control. And in a world of fractured communities, interpersonal conflicts, ‘culture wars’ and crises of meaning, religion is treated as everything from part of the problem to the source of our salvation.

Details / PDF:

The full-text PDF of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Support Arena

Independent publications and critical thought are more important than ever. Arena has never relied on or received government funding. It has sustained its activities largely through the voluntary work and funding provided by editors and supporters. If Arena is to continue and to expand its readership, we need your support to do it.