Religious Nationalism in Global Perspective

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 1427

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Political Science and International Relations, London Metropolitan University, London N7 8DB, UK
Interests: religious nationalism
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Dear Colleagues,

Whether ranging from the United States to the Middle East or from Asia to Africa, religious nationalism is an important component of political activity and organisation in the world. As of the present, however, a global survey of the political impact of religious nationalism is lacking in current research.

The relationship between religion and nationalism is not a new area of research. Nevertheless, it has grown in importance in recent years, as there has been a rise in examples of the phenomenon, with these often having significant political impacts. When there is a clear and sustained relationship present between religion and nationalism, a hybrid term of the two is then useful to use in the study of this phenomenon: that of ‘religious nationalism’. Religious nationalism signifies a demonstrably close, even synonymous, relationship between the concepts of ‘religion’ and ‘nationalism’, which are not inherently close ideologically. Thus, religion corresponds to this context when it is a defining component of what a nation is said to comprise, helping to forge a collective ethos of identity and being expressed in a collective culture. As such, manifestations of religious nationalism depend on historical, religious, political, and cultural contexts. For example, when the state—as in the cases of present-day Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey—seeks to derive political legitimacy from sustained reference to religious rather than secular doctrines, it then demonstrates the use of religious nationalism. This is characterised by certain religious values, beliefs, and ideals that are allied with a secular attribute: the identity of a nation. In this respect, as Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are all Muslim-majority countries, their state ideologies may be characterised as ‘Islamic nationalism’. As another example, India is a country said to emphasise ‘Hindu nationalism’ under its present government.

Christian nationalism is another important form of religious nationalism, drawing on specific Christian values and beliefs. Nonetheless, Christian nationalism is a controversial issue and is understood in various ways. Some contend that Christian nationalism is merely a healthy form of Christian patriotism, highlighting a love of both God and one’s country. Others characterise Christian nationalism as a malign, ideologically driven, religiopolitical project intending to make a singular interpretation of Christianity publicly dominant. In relation to the United States, which is an important location for the scholarly focus of Christian nationalism, Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry define Christian nationalism as ‘a collection of myths, traditions, symbols, narratives, and value systems – that idealizes and advocates a fusion of Christianity with American civic life’ (Andrew L. Whitehead and Samuel L. Perry, Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States (New York, Oxford University Press, 2020). Whitehead and Perry argue that, in the USA, Christian nationalism ‘is undergirded by identification with a conservative political orientation (though not necessarily a political party), Bible belief, premillennial visions of moral decay, and divine sanction for conquest’. For Christian nationalists, the ‘divine sanction for conquest’ is often conceptualised as dominion theology or ‘dominionism’. This is a theocratic idea positing that, regardless of the theological group, means, or timetable, God calls all socially conservative Christians to exercise dominion over society. This includes taking control of political and cultural institutions, as well as the economy. Christian nationalists in various countries – including (but not limited to) the USA, Hungary, Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria – seek to realise God’s kingdom on earth via a ‘Christianisation’ of politics (See Jeffrey Haynes, ‘Christian Nationalism and Politics in Ghana’. Religions. 2023, 14(9):1202. https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/14/9/1202).

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 200–300 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the Guest Editor or to the Assistant Editor of Religions. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editors for the purposes of ensuring their proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Haynes
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • religious nationalism
  • religion
  • nationalism
  • political impact
  • Islamic nationalism
  • Christian nationalism
  • Hindu nationalism

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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