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Conscripts of secularism: nationalism, Islam and violence

Published version
Peer-reviewed

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Type

Article

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Abstract

In the currently resurging contestation about religion and nationalism in the public sphere, secularism has become one of the most intensively contested political concepts. Even staunch advocates concede that across Euroamerica, secularism has in many ways failed to deliver on its promise to guarantee state neutrality and free exercise of religion. However, scholarship critically investigating the effects of secularism is often unclear about what discrimination, harm, or violence it seeks to uncover, creating misunderstandings among secularism’s advocates and critics alike. This contribution suggests that there are three major analytical angles that should be distinguished: the liberal egalitarian critique, the decolonial critique, and the genealogical critique. To demonstrate the benefits and limitations of each perspective, the contribution draws on the case study of Christian national identity politics in Bavaria targeting Islam. It makes the case for the conscious combination of these three perspectives in the analysis of the ‘religion-culture-citizenship’ nexus.

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Keywords

4408 Political Science, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies, 44 Human Society

Journal Title

Religion, State and Society

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0963-7494
1465-3974

Volume Title

50

Publisher

Informa UK Limited