Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging

Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 5 illustrations Published: May 2021

Cultural Studies, Globalization and Neoliberalism, Religious Studies

Working in four scholarly teams focused on different global regions—North America, the European Union, the Middle East, and China—the contributors to Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging examine how new political worlds intersect with locally specific articulations of religion and secularism. The chapters address many topics, including the changing relationship between Islam and politics in Tunisia after the 2010 revolution, the influence of religion on the sharp turn to the political right in Western Europe, understandings of Confucianism as a form of secularism, and the alliance between evangelical Christians and neoliberal business elites in the United States since the 1970s. This volume also provides a methodological template for how humanities scholars around the world can collaboratively engage with sweeping issues of global significance.

Contributors. Markus Balkenhol, Elizabeth Bentley, Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, David N. Gibbs, Ori Goldberg, Marcia Klotz, Zeynep Kurtulus Korkman, Leerom Medovoi, Eva Midden, Mohanad Mustafa, Mu-chou Poo, Shaul Setter, John Vignaux Smith, Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Ernst van den Hemel, Albert Welter, Francis Ching-Wah Yip, Raef Zreik


Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging attends to transnational particularities as a way to address global realities. The book brings together teams of scholars working in different geographic areas and developing their analyses through engagement with each other and the world. Starting from the multiplicity of secularisms and the entanglement of secularism, religion, and political belonging, they build connections between the politics of critique and the ethics of care.” — Janet R. Jakobsen, Claire Tow Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University

“Leerom Medovoi and Elizabeth Bentley have put together a rich comparative volume on the complexities of religion and secularism that indicates the range and varieties of both as well as the intense interactions between them in different national and global contexts. This compelling and unique collection will be taken up by many readers concerned with questions of religion, the secular, and the political.” — David Theo Goldberg, author of Are We All Postracial Yet?


Availability: Not in Stock
Price: $29.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Leerom Medovoi is Professor of English at the University of Arizona and author of Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity, also published by Duke University Press.

Elizabeth Bentley is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Arizona.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  xi
Introduction: Translated Secularisms, Global Humanities / Leerom Medovoi and Elizabeth Bentley 1
Part I. Secularism
Keyword: Neutrality / Elizabeth Bentley  35
Keyword: Science / John Vignaux Smyth  43
1. Strict Neutrality Reconsidered: Religion and Political Belonging in the Netherlands / Pooyan Tamimi Arab  49
2. Confucian Secularism in Theoretical and Historical Perspective / Albert Welter  69
3. From Exclusive to Inclusive Secularity: Religion, State, and the Public Space in Tunisia after the Revolution / Mohanad Mustafa  85
4. Neoliberal Political Theology / Marcia Klotz and Leerom Medovoi  107
5. "Christian Atheism" on Twitter: Dutch Populism and/as Culturalized Religion / Ernst van den Hemel  125
Part II. Religion
Keyword: Nationalism / Ernst van den Hemel and Markus Balkenhol  139
Keyword: Fundamentalism / Leerom Medovoi  147
6. Religion, Politics, and Nationalism, a Case Study: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement / Raef Zreik and Mohanad Mustafa  155
7. Trains on Time: Faith, Political Belonging, and Governability in Israel / Ori Goldberg  175
8. Making Sense by Comprehending Sensibility: A View of Chinese Religions / Mu-chou Poo  191
9. Evangelical Christianity, Big Business, and the Resurgenc of American Conservatism during the 1970s / David N. Gibbs  207
10. Among New Believers: Religion, Gender, and National Identity in the Netherlands / Eva Midden  223
Part III. Political Belonging
Keyword: Faith / Ori Goldberg  239
Keyword: Civil Religion / Mu-chou Poo  243
11. Muslim Migration, Citizenship, and Belonging in U.S. Politics of Secularism / Kambiz GhaneaBassiri  251
12. Commemorating the African Ancestors: Entanglements of Citizenship, Colonialism, and Religion in the Netherlands / Markus Balkenhol  265
13. Transsecular Incarnations: Destabilizing the (Cis)Gender Politics of Secularism / Zeynap Kurtuluş Korkman  283
14. Christianity and the Political Religion of China / Francis Ching-Wah Yip  305
15. Critical Israel: Toward a Contemporary Political Theology of the Particular / Shaul Setter 325
Contributors  343
Index 347
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1078-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1039-5