Not So Strange Bedfellows: The Nexus of Politics and Religion in the 21st Century (BOK)
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At the intersection of politics and religion is a nexus of belief in doctrine and adherence to socio-political cultural conventions. Lines of communication and methods of belonging permeate both spheres, enabling their respective participants, especially the (often self-described) 'true believers', to bond and belong, and most importantly to adhere to their various belief systems. Traditionally, this nexus has been approached from a standpoint that posits the idea of secularity as the governing principle. The authors in this volume challenge this orthodoxy. They examine a diverse range of historical and geographic locations involving markedly different religious and political movements. They explore how nation-states develop political religions, how they actively promote a politics infused with religiosity, and how they transfer symbols and meanings from one socio-political construct to another. Despite markedly different philosophical differences, the contributors repudiate the currently dominant orthodoxies on the relationship between religion and politics. They demonstrate that 'secular' democracy is not radically separate from religion. Nation-states actively participate in the construction of this nexus even as they extol their commitment to secular values. In so doing, they demonstrate that secularity as it is currently understood remains deeply implicated in the nexus between religion and politics in the twenty-first century.