Religion in and Against National Identity

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:40
Oral Presentation
Ian MORRISON, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
While religion often poses a threat to the nation, it is also regularly, and in recent times increasingly, expressed as a fundamental characteristic of national identity. This presentation will investigate how, within nationalist discourses, religion increasingly appears as a set of historical ideas responsible for the production particular civilizations, rather than as a mode of being or a social realm concerned with doctrines, practices, institutions and statuses linked to revealed truth. It will be argued that by portraying religion as an object of cultural heritage, nationalisms are able to: a) claim to overcome disputes between thick and thin notions of national identity, and b) deny the sectarian nature of discriminatory practices and nationalist claims to supremacy.