“Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World,” by Miroslav Volf
(Yale University Press, pp 304, $28.00)
Do religions still hold value in our lives in an age of globalization? There is indeed a paradox in the reactionary violent stance with religions given that both globalization and religions aim for universals. This simplistic vision leaves aside a profound gap: that religions impact us internally whereas the leveling force of globalization shapes us externally. Needless to say that materialism and morals do not mix well. A case well documented in “Flourishing,” where Miroslav Volf first notices that our world is increasingly torn by religious conflicts, often stemming from the threat that globalization brings in its wake.
Volf, a professor of theologian at Yale, is an advocate for bridging the gulf separating the two opposite worlds. What is at stake here is life quality itself and the meaning of being human. The book’s narrative becomes how to find an appropriate balance. In other words, how to live well in a world demanding more and more endless adjustments, which conflict with our disposition, values, and morals. Volf’s solution is spirituality, and though he does not hide that his approach is Christian in nature, his argument is both inviting and needed. In a world increasingly devoid of relevant meanings, God can be the gift and the bridge to connect with others.