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Religion and Nationalism in Global Perspective

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics

  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316639122

$ 29.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • It is difficult to imagine forces in the modern world as potent as nationalism and religion. Both provide people with a source of meaning, each has motivated individuals to carry out extraordinary acts of heroism and cruelty, and both serve as the foundation for communal and personal identity. While the subject has received both scholarly and popular attention, this distinctive book is the first comparative study to examine the origins and development of three distinct models: religious nationalism, secular nationalism, and civil-religious nationalism. Using multiple methods, the authors develop a new theoretical framework that can be applied across diverse countries and religious traditions to understand the emergence, development, and stability of different church-state arrangements over time. The work combines public opinion, constitutional, and content analysis of the United States, Israel, India, Greece, Uruguay, and Malaysia, weaving together historical and contemporary illustrations.

    • Develops a new typology of church-state arrangements, and a framework for understanding their emergence, development, and stability over time
    • Uses multiple methods to test theory, combining public opinion data and content analysis for six in-depth case studies
    • Case studies from different world regions and religions provide historical context on each country and analysis of present-day dynamics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘The resurgence of nationalisms, usually populist, often religious, and all too often authoritarian, is central to global politics today. Soper and Fetzer, already distinguished scholars of religion, immigration, and political identities, have now produced a seminal theory of how and why religion and nationalism are related in distinct ways in different societies. It will have both an immediate and enduring impact.' Rogers M. Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

    ‘The best comparative and historical investigation to date of the complex and varied relationship between religion and nationalism in the modern era. Lucidly written and carefully researched, this book is a must-read for any social scientist or historian working on religion and politics today.' Philip Gorski, Yale University, Connecticut

    ‘Distinguished scholars of religion and politics J. Christopher Soper and Joel S. Fetzer have produced a characteristically sober and illuminating treatment of a global issue of the first importance: the nexus of religion and nationalism, a relationship that is increasingly fraught in America and around the world. Soper and Fetzer combine theoretical sophistication and empirical depth and range to demonstrate that this relationship assumes many more forms – including stable and liberal forms – than the usual simplistic dichotomy of religious vs. secular nationalism assumes. This book will now be the essential guide to the global politics of religion and nationalism, not only for scholars but for the lay public as well.' Timothy Samuel Shah, Director for International Research, Religious Freedom Research Project, Georgetown University, Washington DC

    ‘This important work unpacks the critical and complex relationship between religion and nationalism. With six case studies ranging across multiple regions of the world, Fetzer and Soper enable us to better understand the interaction between religion and nationalism, and the impact varied patterns have on political and social outcomes.' Carolyn M. Warner, Arizona State University

    'Religion and Nationalism in Global Perspective is an outstanding achievement in the comparative-historical study of multiple secularities across various regions and religions. Soper and Fetzer do not present a merely ideological account of the religion-nationalism nexus, as is too often the case. They deliver a rigorous narrative focusing also on law and institutions, demographics, and various contentions that impact this contingent relationship.' Review of Religious Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316639122
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 27 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. A theory of religion and nationalism
    2. United States: stable civil-religious nationalism
    3. Israel: unstable civil-religious nationalism
    4. Greece: stable religious nationalism
    5. Malaysia: unstable religious nationalism
    6. Uruguay: stable secular nationalism
    7. India: unstable secular nationalism
    8. Pitfalls and opportunities on the religious path to nationalism

  • Authors

    J. Christopher Soper, Pepperdine University, Malibu
    J. Christopher Soper is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University, Malibu. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University, Connecticut and his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School.

    Joel S. Fetzer, Pepperdine University, Malibu
    Joel S. Fetzer is Frank R. Seaver Professor of Social Science and Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University, Malibu. A graduate of Cornell University and Yale University, he specializes in religion and politics and in migration studies.

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