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Religion and Society in the 21st Century

Book Description

This volume focuses on religion from a trans-cultural and international perspective. Its aim is to open up new perspectives on how religions might coexist peacefully within 21st century societies and simultaneously contribute to global pacification. Can a religion cope peacefully with the existence of other religions, without having to abandon its own claim to truth, and if so, what already inherent, specific characteristics would have to be emphasized? Or is secular culture the path to convince different religions of a shared ideal of peaceful co-existence? These questions are approached considering the socio-political implications of religions in Asian, African, Latin-American and European contexts.
This collection of essays reflects on the entire spectrum of the highly topical and complex academic discussions pertaining to the interrelation of society, state and religion. One example in this collection features the analysis of a secular state engaging in dialog with Muslim communities through a state-moderated communication platform; another article concentrates on the political impact of Christian churches on Nigerian society by means of political advertisement. Moreover, the different concepts of religion in Western societies are considered: one essay argues that in democratic societies it is the state that must guarantee the freedom of religion and thereby provide the basis for a peaceful co-existence between all religions.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Preamble – The Reference to God as a Stimulus for Freedom
    1. Bibliography
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Introduction
    1. Bibliography
  6. The Religious between Self-Referential Religious Communication, Communication on Religion, and Sacralization
    1. 1 Secularization or Reenchantment of the World?
    2. 2 Introductory Conceptual Considerations
    3. 3 Empirical Findings and their Interpretation
      1. 3.1 The Religious Situation on a Global Scale
      2. 3.2 The Relevance of Religion at the Micro-, Meso-, and Macro-levels
        1. 3.2.1 Micro-level: Personal Religiosity
        2. 3.2.2 Religious Convictions
        3. 3.2.3 Meso-level: Significance of Organized Religion
        4. 3.2.4 Macro-level: Relevance of Religion in the Public Sphere
      3. 3.3 Fundamentalism
      4. 3.4 Religious Fundamentalism
      5. 3.5 Political Fundamentalism Influenced by Religious Elements
        1. 3.5.1 Zimbabwe
        2. 3.5.2 USA
        3. 3.5.3 Poland
        4. 3.5.4 Argentina
        5. 3.5.5 Nigeria
        6. 3.5.6 Egypt
        7. 3.5.7 Iraq
    4. 3.6 Religion as a Strong Identity Marker
    5. 4 Conceptual Conclusions
    6. Bibliography
    7. Sources
  7. Pluralism, Liberalism and Constitutional Patriotism: A Normative Theory from the Indian Constitution
    1. 1 Introduction
    2. 2 Pluralism within Liberalism: Theory, Practice and European Experience
    3. 3 The Pluralist History of India and its Impact on the Nature of the Indian Constitution
    4. 4 The Indian Constitution as a Philosophical Expression of Liberal Citizens in Plural Societies
    5. 5 Reinterpreting Constitutional Patriotism for a Pluralized Society
    6. Bibliography
  8. The Formation of the Nation-State, Religious Pluralism, and the Public Sphere in Brazil
    1. 1 The Colonial Prehistory
    2. 2 Religious Pluralism in Brazil
    3. 3 The Historical Construction of Brazilian Religious Diversity
    4. 4 Democracy, Religious Secularization, and the Public Sphere
    5. Bibliography
  9. The Midwife or the Handmaid? Religion in Political Advertising in Nigeria
    1. 1 Introduction
    2. 2 Ambiguity of Religion in Nigerian Politics
    3. 3 The Regulation of the Nigerian Political Market and Advertising
    4. 4 Vox Dei, Vox Populi: Religion in Political Advertisement
    5. 5 Conclusion
    6. Bibliography
  10. Sacrificial Space: The Hebrew Imagination “Comes Home”
    1. 1 The akeda in the Jewish Tradition
    2. 2 Modern Retellings
    3. 3 Greenberg’s and Agnon’s “Aesthetics of the Whole”
    4. 4 Amichai’s Alternative Rewriting
    5. Bibliography
  11. Religion under Liberal-Secular Governance: Dialoguing with Muslims in Germany
    1. 1 Introduction
    2. 2 Consensus-Orientated Dialogue in Liberal/Secular Terms
    3. 3 The DIK, “Free and Democratic” Consensus and “Constitution Plus”
    4. 4 Non-Conforming Muslim Utterances in Controlled Dialogue
    5. 5 Concluding Remarks
    6. Bibliography
  12. Concepts of Religion and Their Political Implications
    1. 1 Introduction
    2. 2 Western Discourses on Religion
      1. 2.1 Religion as a Divine Gift of Reason
      2. 2.2 Religion as an Experience of Revelation
      3. 2.3 Religion as a Function of the Brain
      4. 2.4 Religion as Projection
      5. 2.5 Religion as Sacralized Social Principles
      6. 2.6 Religion as an Interest in Salvation
      7. 2.7 Religions as Competing Firms
      8. 2.8 Religions as Religious Traditions
      9. 2.9 Understanding Religions as Systems of Practices
    3. 3 Churches, Voluntary Associations, and the State
    4. 4 The “Real” Problem: Protecting the Freedom of Religion
    5. Bibliography
  13. Notes on the Contributors
  14. Index