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Changing and disseminating one's religion have become even more controversial and problematic than they were when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights took form in 1948. Many religious groups decry proselytizing activity, yet arguably still engage in it. Some see the "war for souls" as an aggressive act of political domination in a postcolonial, multicultural world. Others view it more positively as healthy cultural exchange in our rights-oriented world. The current volume updates and expands earlier studies of proselytism, and explores more thoroughly the theoretical and practical implications of proselytization and anti-proselytization, particularly within the current phase of democratization and globalization. Several authors offer analyses of newer movements and territories now associated with the proselytic impulse, demonstrating its global significance. A particular emphasis of the book is on the diverse conversionist strategies being deployed by various religious organizations to contest, accommodate, or circumvent changing patterns of state regulation. Modern media technologies feature prominently in many of the studies. To complement this, some contributors examine the histories of those contexts where the entanglements of colonialism, missionization, and nationalism have shaped current environments of hostility or hospitality with regard to religious activism. The cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary orientation of this edited work provides a new perspective on this increasingly salient and controversial topic.
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