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The article brings into focus a series of political arguments of Stanley Hauerwas's “theological politics” and argues that these arguments are in stark contrast with the theoretical perspective of a political rule by a god-like Leviathan, an image inherited in modern and contemporary political culture from the early modern English philosopher Thomas Hobbes. The first section focuses on Hauerwas's arguments regarding the political potential of the term “Catholicity” to represent an alternative to the coercive politics reinforced by the post-Enlightenment nation state. The second section proposes a reflection on the way the Church's Catholicity may be expressed politically without falling into the temptation of involving the Leviathan to sort out the issues generated by its diversity. The concluding section illustrates how Hauerwas uses his approach of a universal unity of Christians “without Leviathan” in his exhortation addressed to American Christians to say “no” to Donald Trump's version of communal unity that is rather based on “total allegiance” to the United States and on “repressive politics”.
Since the emergence of the Islamic State, considerable debate has arisen over the relationship (or lack of therein) between its ideological discourse and broader Islamic exegeses and learning. This paper aims to connect these wider discussions to its self-defined ideological standpoint as set out in its magazine, Dabiq. All 15 of these, published between June 2014 and July 2016, amounting to more than 900 pages, are examined to assess their authors’ (1) analysis of the Qur'an (2) use of classical scholarship, and (3) engagement with contemporary readings of Islam.
This paper explains Israel's decision to outlaw the Islamic Movement Northern Faction in Israel (IMNF) and examines the methods and strategies adopted by the IMNF and its leaders that prompted the state's actions. Based on the British Defense Regulations from the British Mandate for Palestine, the State of Israel outlawed the IMNF on November 17, 2015, accusing the group of incitement, racism, and terrorism. Sheykh Kamal Khatib, former deputy leader of IMNF, declared that the IMNF had been a tool to serve the Islamic project and regardless of having been outlawed, the movement “would find a “thousand ways” to serve that project.’” I argue that the IMNF's shift in focus from the Palestinians to the larger Muslim community disrupted politics within Israel. Even so, Israel's policy change was based on political and personal calculations, rather than on national and regional security pressures.
How do we measure religious violence? This study is focused on utilizing new methodological approaches and data sources to measure religiously motivated violence. Previous attempts to measure religious violence concentrated on coding U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom reports or utilizing existing datasets on armed conflict/civil wars. These previous attempts provided state-level data of the levels of religiously motivated violence, but due to data limitations cannot provide more fine-grained measures of specific acts of violence tied to religious motivation. In particular, accounting for varying levels of intensity especially in regards to non-lethal acts of religiously motivated violence is missing. This study builds upon previous attempts focusing on the creation of more fine-grained measures and accounting for its variation at the sub-national level utilizing natural language processing. The data generated are used to examine incidences of reported religious violence in India from 2000 to 2015.
It has become an article of faith that congregations in America play an important role in the political mobilization of the faithful, but the reasons why congregations themselves provide political opportunities are not well understood. We unite various strands of work about congregational political engagement under the canopy of the religious economies model. Using the 2001 U.S. Congregational Life Study and 1998 National Congregations Study datasets, we show that market forces shape churches’ provision of political goods, suggesting that the congregational embrace of political activities should be understood not as a politically strategic exercise, but as another way to reach out to new members and retain current ones.
Survey estimates of the religiously unaffiliated in the United States—between 20% and 25%—make this group one of the largest “religious” categories in the country. Recent research argues that political polarization pushes political liberals and moderates to report no religious affiliation to distance themselves from religious conservatives. One key point of polarization behind this phenomenon is sexuality-focused politics, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) rights and discrimination. The current research uses a split-ballot survey experiment to investigate sexuality-focused political polarization as a cause of the reports of religious nonaffiliation. A sample of 2,238 respondents, stratified by sexual orientation (half LGBQ, half straight), completed a brief web survey starting with two randomly ordered series of questions on religion and sexuality. Findings suggest that sexuality-focused political polarization is not likely to be a primary cause of survey respondents’ claims of religious nonaffiliation.
Since Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014), federal and state religious freedom restoration acts now extend the right to free exercise of religion to businesses. But what does it mean for businesses to have such a right? In this paper, I identify three implications of these new rights: they shift the burden for fulfilling the right to private citizens, and they conflict with businesses’ both commercial and democratic obligations. To illustrate how they become problematic, I draw on the case of In re Wathen (2015) where the owners of a bed and breakfast cited their business's religion as their reason for refusing to host a wedding reception for a same-sex couple, even though state law specifically prohibited commercial businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation.