Recent Posts

April 9th, 2014

Searching for the church of Islam

posted by Amr Ezzat

Amid the conflict currently underway in Egypt—between state authorities led by the military-backed government and the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist allies—another momentous battle is being waged over the country’s mosques and pulpits. Sermons, religious lessons, and charitable and development activities centered in mosques are an important sphere of influence for Islamist movements of various stripes. This arena is also a space to affirm the legitimacy of the regime in Egypt, whose government directly runs many mosques and oversees many more through the Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf). As such, mosques have long been the locus of struggles over power and influence between the regime and its men in the official religious establishment on one hand, and Islamist groups on the other. Currently, the Ministry of Endowments is instituting strict policies aimed at tightening its exclusive control over all Islamic rites and mosque-centered activities, in tandem with a sweeping security campaign targeting the activities of all Islamist movements, with the exception of the pro-government Salafi al-Nour Party.

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April 1st, 2014

Three Observations on Religion, Politics, and the Muslim Brotherhood

posted by Atef Said

March 25th, 2014

Not secularism vs. Islamism

posted by John Voll

March 19th, 2014

The future of political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Egyptian politics

posted by Mohammad Fadel

~ More recent posts ~

Recent comments

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  • Joanna Howe on American civil religion in the age of Obama: An interview with Philip S. Gorski


February 5th—March 7th, 2014

Beyond critique

Over the last two decades, debates on secularism and religion have become a central topic in disciplines ranging from post-colonial studies, political, and social theory to international relations and international and comparative law. The starting point for this exchange is the observation that, while “the secular” has been subjected to thorough conceptual critique, the concept of religion has remained remarkably vague. Depending on the scholar, discipline, and topic, religion features as a form of community, a type of comprehensive doctrine, a particular sort of claim in front of a court, another word for culture, a particular lived experience and practice, a position from which to critique the “enlightenment projects” secularism and liberalism, or post-modernism and post-structuralism.

Guest edited by Maria Birnbaum and Kristina Stoeckl in conjunction with the research-project ReligioWest at the European University Institute in Florence (financed by the European Research Council), this ongoing discussion invites contributors to reflect on the theoretical and methodological choices in their study of religion and the secularand on the state of the study of religion in their discipline through and beyond critique.

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January 15th, 2014

The forgotten story of the Flushing Remonstrance

posted by Wei Zhu

This past December 27th marked the 356th anniversary of the Flushing Remonstrance, a petition to the Director-General of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, regarding a law against harboring Quakers. Written by Edward Hart, the town clerk of Flushing (the Anglicized form of the Dutch Vlissingen), and signed by 30 of his fellow townsmen, the Remonstrance argued that “we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, and houses, as God shall persuade our consciences, for we are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man.” The United States has long been known as a nation with a history of religious liberty; yet the Remonstrance, which expressed a vision remarkable for its time, remains virtually unknown outside of Flushing—and even within. But the compelling and unique story of the Flushing Remonstrance deserves to be rescued from the dustbin of history.

Read The forgotten story of the Flushing Remonstrance

Featured discussion

The state of religion in China

This discussion brings together scholars to understand the relationship between the state and religion in China—past, present, and future.

Featured publication

Varieties of Religious Establishment

Editors Winnifred Fallers Sullivan and Lori G. Beaman ask contributors to think about religion in public life by considering varieties of religious establishment.

Featured interview

American civil religion in the age of Obama

Joseph Blankholm talks with Philip S. Gorski about his forthcoming book on civil religion, Obama’s messianic burden, and the significance of Émile Durkheim.