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The subject of this essay is the relationship of religion, as a source of values, to the construction of a more robust global values discourse. A specific focus is how religion, specifically Christianity, is influenced by postmodernism to better inform normative thinking on global civil society (GCS). To this end, I argue that religion's role in the global values discourse is enhanced by a dynamic process of adaptation and transformation as part of the larger process of globalization. 1 Significantly, religion is not simply back as the "re-enchantment" and "de-secularization" literature contends but also manifesting in fundamentally new and potentially productive ways. To unpack what one dimension of this process looks like and its implications, I analyze the texts of the emerging church conversation.2 I argue that the emerging church's appropriation of postmodernism-evinced in its theology and practice-offers insight into why religion is changing and how this transformation is positioned to affect the values discourse at the heart of GCS. In sum, its affect centers on both de-linking Christianity from the nation-state as a repository of values and suggesting an anti-foundational approach to ethics-ethics without absolutes that contributes more substantively to the possibility of GCS.


Originally published in Journal of Church and State. Volume 52. Issue 2. 2010. Pages 203-231.