Politics, society and identity - Identity politics - Religion and politics

5 important questions on Politics, society and identity - Identity politics - Religion and politics

What has been the impact of religion on political life?

The impact of religion on political life had been progressively restricted by the spread of liberal culture and ideas, a process that has been particularly prominent in the industrialized west.

--> liberal secularism (belief that religion should not intrude into worldly affairs.
Not an anti-religious tendency. It is concerned to establish a proper sphere and role for religion (public/private divide).

The emergence of new forms of religiosity and a closer relationship between religion and politics, has shaken/confounded the secularization thesis. What is this thesis and what are examples of this occurence?

Theory that modernization is invariably accompanied by the victory of reason over religion and the displacement of spiritual values by secular ones.

F.e. Islamic revolution, regeneration of orthodox christianity in postcommunist Russia,  and growing interest across Western societies in spiritual and therapeutic systems (yoga, meditation etc.)

How has religion proved to be a potent means of regenerating personal and social identity in modern circumstances?

As modern societies are increasingly atomistic and diffuse, there is a greater thirst for the sense of meaning and purpose. Religious consciousness seems to offer this.
Religion defines the very grounds of people's being + deep sense of social solidarity, connecting people to one another.

What do Islamic fundamentalists wish to establish?

The primacy of religion over politics. This means the founding of an 'Islamic state' (a theocracy: religious authority prevailing over political authority, domination of church over state).

What are the three core aims of Islamism?

- promotes pan-Islamic unity, distinguishing Islamism from traditional political nationalism.
- seeks the purification of the Islamic world through the overthrow of pro-Western leaders of Muslim states.
- Removal of Western influence from the Muslim world

-->  rise of Islamism has sometimes been interpreted as evidence of an emerging 'clash of civilizations' (idea that 21st century conflict will be cultural in character, rather than political, ideological or economic)

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