The Role of Religion in the Public Sphere

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 December 2024 | Viewed by 735

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Interests: comparative politics; regime change and democratization; civil society and social movements and East European politics and societies

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Guest Editor
Department of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Interests: religion and politics; memory politics; Eastern Europe

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 1999, poised on the cusp of a new millennium, the editors of The Economist published an obituary for God. Seven years later, they admitted their attempt to proclaim the demise of the divine was misguided, and released a thematic issue dedicated to exploring why religion is still socio-politically salient (and likely will remain so well into the future). This acknowledgement of religion’s enduring relevance came as no surprise to scholars, of course; many of them had been questioning the core tenets of the “modernization leads to secularization” thesis for some time prior. 

Today, the sacred is showing few if any signs of retreating from the public sphere. Not only has religion been, as José Casanova memorably argued, effectively “deprivatized” throughout much of the developed world in the last few decades, but even among the most economically advanced states, it is showing increasing signs of vitality, as reflected in recent controversies over the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court or religion’s role in bolstering populist and identitarian movements across Europe. This is not to say, however, that the ways in which religious bodies conceive of themselves, or the manner in which individuals and governments relate to faith and its institutional representations, has remained stable.

Drawing on anthropological, economic, political, and sociological perspectives, this Special Issue seeks to explore how (and why) religion manifests in the contemporary public sphere. While this appeal is open in terms of geographic scope and methodology, the Guest Editor is especially interested in contributions that tackle the present-day role of religion in contexts where proponents of the secularization theory had predicted its relevance would diminish in the face of modernity.

Prof. Dr. Grzegorz Ekiert
Dr. George Soroka
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 1800 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.


  • religion
  • public sphere
  • politics
  • secularization
  • modernization
  • culture wars
  • faith
  • identity

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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