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This lesson will discuss the impact of religion on economics.

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Let's take a look now at economics. Economics has long been a force of social mixing. We could go back as far as we want to find precedents for this, whether it's the Silk Route or whether we look at Alexander the Great's empire or just the general Mediterranean mixing of cultures. We might give examples of the British Empire.

So throughout history, economics has been a driving force for getting people from different cultures together. Economics can provide contact between people of various religions and also giving them an incentive to work together. So economics can really be a connecting force between people around the world and get them talking to each other and working together on various different issues that are in their mutual interests. So economics can provide bridges between different cultures and get them to work together.

Of course, we're in a situation of globalization now. But really, this has not always been the case. We're more connected now than ever before but we can give previous examples like in the colonial period. Globalization isn't always fair. It does produce winners and losers. It does exacerbate global poverty but it also gives more chances for cultures to interact.

So probably, the clothes that you are wearing right now where made in Southeast Asia or somewhere else in the world. And most of the goods and services that we use are produced globally, not just within one country. So this provides an opportunity for religions and cultures to interact.

So businesses around the world today can't really afford to not be knowledgeable about different cultures, languages, laws, and religions. So just in order to conduct business, companies must be knowledgeable about religion. And in workplaces, managers have to be aware of the religions of the people that work for them, whether it's providing halal food, which is the food that is sanctioned by Islam that has been properly prepared. We normally think about halal meat or kosher food or vegetarian food.

This has been an issue in several different universities who-- naturally, universities want to be able to attract as many students as possible. So they have to ensure that their students are provided with the proper food for their tradition. So whether it might be putting in a kosher kitchen or making sure that they have vegetarian options or making sure that their Muslim students have a place to pray.

So universities have gotten very savvy at making sure that the requirements of their students are met along these lines. And major Fortune 500 companies also have to do the same thing when they want to work in different areas around the world.

We said that conducting business today requires that companies have a knowledge of various different cultures, religions, laws, and languages around the world so that they can properly tailor their businesses to the cultural demands of those they're working with, whether it's their employees, their customers, or their clients. We said that, in the workplace, it's important for managers to have a knowledge of the requirements of their employees-- maybe providing them with food that follows their dietary regulations or providing them with a place to conduct prayers or days off on certain religious holidays.

So religion certainly affects economics and economics, at the same time, affects religion as it provides people from differing backgrounds with an opportunity and an incentive to work together.