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Religion, Populism and the Crisis of Secularism

When: Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Where: Online

In this IHSS webinar, we are joined by Dr Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins (Dartmouth College) who will discuss the current rise of populalism. Responses will be made by Dr John Adenitire (Queen Mary University of London) and Dr Marietta D C van der Tol (University of Oxford).

Most explanations for populism today are political or economic in orientation. If the political party system better represented its members the populist temptation would be quelled. Or if there was a better system of wealth distribution and less wealth inequality the populist temptation would not be as appealing. Yet there are very good reasons to view much of today’s populism as, to some degree, a religious backlash. The Eurasian traditionalism of Vladimir Putin, the Christian-Democracy of Orbán, the Judeo-Christianity of Trump, the prosperity Pentecostalism of Bolsonaro, the populist Catholicism of Salvini and the Hindu-nationalism of Modi, and Islamo-Kemalism of Erdoğan are all examples that seem to prove the point. What has been eroding for the past few decades, this talk will argue, is not simply democratic or liberal values per se but rather a growing suspicion of secularism and the secular elites who propagate it.


Dr Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department at Dartmouth College. He serves as the managing editor for Modern Intellectual History and runs a regular interview series for The Nation. @daniel_dsj2110


Dr John Adenitire is a Strategic Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary University of London. His research has focused on the legal right to exemption for religious and non-religious conscientious objectors from a wide variety of legal obligations, including anti-discrimination norms. @JohnAdenitire

Dr Marietta D C van der Tol is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Her research interests include the relationship between religion, politics and society, and the role that political imaginaries play in the formation of law and public policy with regard to religious minorities in Europe.


The video link to this event can be viewed here


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