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The last section, finally, puts the new definition into a wider context of globalisation by taking the theory of World Society (Niklas Luhmann/Rudolf Stichweh) into account.
It discusses NRMs as ›globalised globalisers‹, which means as a product of the globalised World Society that at the same time re-affects the processes of globalisation themselves and thereby can be seen as a globalising driving force of a world religion system.
Der Artikel liefert eine systemtheoretische Perspektive auf die laufende Debatte zum Begriff ›New Religious Movement‹ (NRM).
Nach kurzer Vorstellung einiger grundlegender Aspekte der Systemtheorie nach Niklas Luhmann identifiziert der Aufsatz drei Probleme des Begriffs der NRMs, geknüpft an die drei Bestandteile ›new‹, ›religious‹ und ›movement‹.
More precisely, the thesis holds that 1) religion must be seen as a global function system within the World Society and 2) that NRMs are not only products but at the same time crucial to the momentum of the process of globalisation of religion.
Kuhn’s words, a new ›paradigm‹ of social science (Kuhn 1967, 29).
Furthermore, concerning the focus on NRMs, we agree with Margit Warburg »that what seems to be needed in the study of new religions and globalisation is not so much new general theories on globalisation; it is rather a critical development of models, concepts and methods that build on existing globalisation theories but are specifically directed towards the Study of Religion, and in particular new religions from a globalisation perspective.« (Warburg 2008, 47) , operationally closed, self-referential system (Luhmann 1995, 16-41; 176-209).
Society, accordingly, neither consists of groups nor of communities or larger collectives of human beings, but purely in and of its operations, .
However, surprisingly enough, these phenomena are rarely put into a greater context of globalisation theories (with a few exceptions, e.g. Religion remains discussed as somehow outside of society and opposed or only related to globalisation.
In this essay, however, we shall argue that, in fact, there is a close interrelationship between the rise of new forms of religion and the globalisation of society.