Special Issue "Populist Performances and Religion in Global Perspective"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 26249
Interests: religion; populism; authoritarianism; secularism; securitization; Islam
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
The phenomenon of populism has become part of mainstream politics in the 21st century. We read, hear and watch populism being performed daily. Its contested meanings and various shapes inform many aspects of political and social life across the world. In some cases, it emerges in the form of an individual leader; in others, in the form of a social movement or a political party. Moreover, populism has found itself fertile ground in a “post-truth era” where connectivity is rampant, but verifiable information is often lost amid “fake news.”
Populism is a widespread and significant phenomenon. Therefore, it is important that we understand not merely its defining features and causes, but also its relationship with other social phenomena. While populism’s relationships with globalisation, nationalism, and race are regularly discussed in the scholarly literature, the relationship between populism and religion remains relatively understudied. This is unfortunate, because it is now accepted that religion, like nationalism, can be a significant component of populist narratives, performances, styles, and political mobilization strategies (DeHanas and Shterin 2018; Arato and Cohen 2018; Zuquete 2017). Religion is now playing an important role in new populisms. Political leaders, parties, and movements have across the world incorporated religious rhetoric and appeals to a religion based identity in their populist performances. At the same time, some religious movements and actors have also made use of populism styles, discourses, and strategies.
On the one hand, populism is an opportunistic identity politics that “hijacks” religion to divide the society into us and them (Marzouki and McDonnell 2016). Populists also use religion as a mobilization strategy, in particular, as a host identity. Populists refer to religious symbols and culture in order to construct an exclusionary identity. Religion is also effectively used to make convincing moral claims to incite anger and disillusionment in the face of what is perceived to be an unfair treatment by individuals. On the other hand, there is a political aspect of religion which “creates a sense of belonging and identity”, emanating from religion’s persistence in the contemporary society despite decades of modernization (Morieson 2017). More recent work demonstrates that, “far from being passive actors, organised mainstream religion (be it through denominational leaders, factional figureheads, or publicly aligned politicians) is actively competing for political status and power” (Roose 2020).
This phonemena manifests not only in the West, where the relationship between religion and populism has been most studied, but also across Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. Further examination of the relationship between populism and religion is important, then, and may help us understand whether populism is a temporary phenomenon brought on by problems in contermporary social and political systems, or a permanent aspect of the 21st-century politics around the world.
Therefore, this Special Issue invites contributors to consider questions/topics which are not limited to, but inclusive of, the following:
- Populist narrative construction and religion;
- Populist interaction with religions, especially in non-Western cases;
- Mutual links between populist and religious sentiments and performances;
- Emotive political mobilization and religion;
- Performative populism (gestures, emotional tone, imagery and symbolism) and religion;
- Perspectives of the targets of religious populism: religious minorities;
- The relationship between fundamentalist religion and populism in history;
- Challenges that populism poses to established religions and their institutions;
- Populist religious movements and their influence on social life;
- Religious nationalism and populism case studies.
Prof. Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz
Manuscript Submission Information
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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 1400 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.
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