Religion and Politics

Religion and Politics: European and Global Perspectives

Johann P. Arnason
Ireneusz Paweł Karolewski
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Religion and Politics
    Book Description:

    Debates on religion and politics have often focussed on contrasts between Europe and other parts of the world, because modernity and secularism seem to go together in Europe. But if European modernity represents an exit from religion, this historical process and its implications have not yet been fully understood.This volume discusses both the growing Islamic presence in Europe – a reminder that religious pluralism still remains – and Christian-motivated extremism and religious nationalism. Against this background, the contributors combine theoretical and empirical research to explore the role of religion in non-European countries including China, Japan, Russia and the MENA region.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-9174-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-7)
    Johann P. Arnason and Ireneusz Paweł Karolewski

    TheAnnual of European and Global Studies(AEGS) is an independent scholarly periodical, based in the Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies at the University of Wrocław (Poland). Its aim is to publish once a year a collection of articles with a shared thematic focus, dealing with European and global issues. The main goal of AEGS is to present wide-ranging scholarly reflections on paradigms, theories and problems concerning European and global developments and their background. In so doing, theAnnualwill strive for a genuine global dialogue of scholarly perspectives from different regions around the world. Willfried Spohn...

  4. 2 The Religio-political Nexus: Historical and Comparative Reflections
    (pp. 8-36)
    Johann P. Arnason

    It is a commonplace that the question of interaction between religion and politics has come back to haunt both academic and broader public debates. Less frequently noted is the inherent ambiguity of the trends and events in question: what some observers see as a return of religion to the political arena is portrayed by others as a stepped-up politicisation of religion. Samuel Huntington’s work on the clash of civilisations (Huntington 1996) has become a standard illustration of the former view. For Huntington, religion is the most important objective determinant of civilisational identity, and as such, it is the main driving...

  5. 3 Politics and Religion in a Global Age
    (pp. 37-58)
    Jeffrey Haynes

    How does globalisation change our understanding of the relationship between religion and politics – beyond the general idea that the core of globalisation is to imply greatly increasing interdependence between states and peoples, with what happens in one part of the world affecting what occurs elsewhere? Yet this is to overestimate the extent to which people agree on what globalisation is and how it affects them. One common focus is to claim that many religious people – especially in many developing countries – regard globalisation as a thoroughly malign and comprehensive Westernising process, as it brings them into sustained contact with values, ideas...

  6. 4 Comparative Secularisms and the Politics of Modernity
    (pp. 59-81)
    Linell E. Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

    In mid-nineteenth-century England, George Holyoake coined the term ‘secularism’ to name an orientation to life designed to attract both theists and atheists under its banner. Impatient with positions defined in opposition to traditional Christian belief, such as atheist, infidel, or dissenter, Holyoake dreamed of a new formation, rallying around the ‘work of human improvement’, that would not be splintered by these older divisions.¹ He sought a positive philosophy, one that was not parasitic on what was being rejected. His 1854Principles of Secularismaspired to give voice to such an alternate vision. Its signature features were its appeal to reason,...

  7. 5 Europe in the Global Rise of Religious Nationalism
    (pp. 82-96)
    Mark Juergensmeyer

    In Western Europe at the turn of the twenty-first century, a new wave of anti-immigrant xenophobia has provided evidence of an edgy political and cultural response to the uncertainties of a post-Cold War world. This religious rebellion in the most modern of Western societies is one of the more puzzling features of the modern era. It is readily understandable that politicised religion could emerge at this moment of history in other parts of the world – Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, for examples. In these cases religious nationalism is a lingering response to colonialism, and traditional culture becomes a...

  8. 6 The European Union’s Civil Religion in the Making?
    (pp. 97-114)
    Ireneusz Paweł Karolewski

    There has been a long debate over the role of religion in the public sphere (for instance Bellah 1967; Coleman 1970; Casanova 1994; Norris and Inglehart 2004; Habermas 2006) as well as over the secularisation and (de)privatisation of religion in Western societies (for instance, Taylor 2007; Calhoun et al. 2011; Putnam and Campbell 2012). In this and other debates, the relationship between religion and politics has been often conceptualised as a dichotomous one, whereby these two spheres (the sacral and the political) are viewed as easily distinguished and analysed as separate sectors of a modern society, whereby only their configurations...

  9. 7 Democracy, Secularism and Islam in Turkey
    (pp. 115-139)
    Ayhan Kaya

    This chapter aims at revealing the tension between democracy, secularism and Islam in contemporary Turkey by focusing on the Islamist, Kurdish and Alevi claimsvis-a-visthe monolithical state regime, which has so far denied the ethno-cultural and religious plurality of the society. The main premise of this article is that the social and political transformation of contemporary Turkey under the reign of the Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi) does not re constitute a democratic form of governance as the AKP has also proved to be bearing the authoritarian and repressive legacy of the Kemalist state tradition...

  10. 8 Orthodox Religion and Politics in Post-Soviet Russia
    (pp. 140-156)
    Mikhail Maslovskiy and Nikita Shangin

    In 2012 the issues of the role of the Orthodox Church in Russian society and church–state relations came to the fore in public discussions in Russia. It became clear that the church was seeking to exert more influence on the social and political life of the country than ever before in the post-Soviet years. The seemingly growing importance of religious matters in a society that was often regarded as thoroughly secularised needs to be discussed from a sociological perspective. Apparently we should consider the interrelation of religion and politics in Russia during the whole post-Soviet period in order to...

  11. 9 Religion and Politics, Church and State in Chinese History
    (pp. 157-167)
    John Lagerwey

    When I began to study Chinese history in 1968, the standard understanding was that China had no native religion, that Confucianism was not a religion, and that Buddhism, a religion of foreign origin, had long since gone into terminal decline. Studies over the last half century have demonstrated that, on the contrary, there was a native religion, Daoism, Confucianism was a religion, and Buddhism has continued to thrive right down to the present. Together, these ‘three teachings’ (sanjiao) as they were called in Chinese received ongoing state support throughout imperial history (220 BCE–1911 CE). Often, moreover, they would band...

  12. 10 Religion and the State in Contemporary Japan
    (pp. 168-182)
    Elisabetta Porcu

    The relationship between religion and the state in Japan has been the object of investigation in an increasing number of scholarly works in the last decades (for example, Hardacre 1989, 2006; Kisala 1994; Nakano 1996; Forfar 1996; Mullins 2010; the contributions in Porcu and Watt 2012; Isomae 2012; Klein 2012; Fisker-Nielsen 2012; Kleine 2013; Dessì 2013). One of the most intriguing and debated issues in this regard has been the separation of religion and state (Jp.seikyo bunri) as legally sanctioned by the Japanese Constitution (1947), in particular by Articles 20 and 89. Article 20 sanctions freedom of religion for...

  13. 11 Arab Revolutions and Political Islam: A Structural Approach
    (pp. 183-209)
    Karel Černý

    This chapter builds upon an alternative notion of a modernisation process which stresses the uneven character of social change in the Middle East and its political consequences in the second half of the twentieth century.¹ From this perspective, the proposed chapter deals with (1) the root causes of the rise of social and political tensions leading to the so-called ‘Arab revolutions’ and with (2) the origins of the rise of mainstream political Islam. That is, it addresses the roots of the conflict between a corrupt and highly unpopular political and economic elite and its challengers recruited from various social and...

  14. 12 Beyond Post-secularism: Religion in Political Analysis (Review Chapter)
    (pp. 210-216)
    Michał Matlak

    The 1960s initiated the era of the secularisation paradigm in the social sciences. It was on a presumption that was close to certainty that religion will gradually lose its social significance, as an effect of the process of modernisation. The most famous example of this paradigm is the seminal book by Peter L. BergerThe Sacred Canopy(Berger 1967), that was strongly influenced by Max Weber’s notion of modernisation and disenchantment. The popularity of the secularisation paradigm is no surprise in the light of the recent book by Hugh McLeod,The Religious Crisis of the 1960’s (McLeod 2007), which is...

  15. Notes on the Contributors
    (pp. 217-220)
  16. Index
    (pp. 221-234)