Special Issue "Political Violence, Religion and the Secular"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Humanities/Philosophies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 July 2022 | Viewed by 408

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Stacey Gutkowski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of War Studies, King’s College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK
Interests: analysing intersections between peace, violence, religion and the secular; the Middle East

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a rich academic discussion of the various relationships between religion and violence. However, there is relatively little that engages in-depth on the intersection between violence and the secular. These two discussions have largely proceeded in parallel. There are extensive debates about what “the secular” is as a Protestant-infused socially constructed category whose relevance and explanatory power for a wide range of case studies around the world is by no means settled. Further, there are extensive debates around how to define forms of violence and grey areas between its many forms such as war, terrorism, crime, domestic abuse and what Galtung calls structural violence. This Special Issue provides an opportunity to bring these two strands of discussion together. Violence is one lens through which to ask what, if anything, is (are) the secular(s)? and, in turn, what does considering questions of religion and the secular offer to our understanding of political violence?

This Special Issue seeks contributions that engage in an empirically rich, theoretically lively way with intersections of violence in all its forms, religious traditions, and questions about the secular. It seeks to bring together scholars working across social science and humanities disciplines. It seeks to bring together comparative case studies from around the world, including cases where the relevance of “the secular” as a useful conceptual category is questioned.

The Special Issue invites us to use the concept of violence to rethink the terms of the secular. Preliminary questions include, but are not limited to:

  • How do different religious traditions conceive violence? In which traditions and case studies are questions about the secular relevant or irrelevant?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of using the idea of “the secular” as a conceptual framework for understanding and analyzing what happens in instances of violence, particularly political violence?
  • How might we conceptualize, problematize and interrogate empirically such matters in case studies that elude any religious–secular binary, outside and also within the West?
  • How do different forms of violence in the public and private sphere shape what questions are possible to ask about “the secular”?
  • Of what importance is the significance of the strength of religious tradition within a particular society and the ways in which such strength intersects with various forms of power, including political, economic, social, spiritual, and military?
  • How might such interrogations help us or hold us back from understanding various forms of oppression and resistance around the world?

Dr. Stacey Gutkowski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • political violence
  • war
  • terrorism
  • secular

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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