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Call for Papers: Journal “Religions” – special issue on religion, law, and politics

Contributions due by 18 December 2020

A new call for a special issue on religion, law, and politics for those of you who might be interested:

Religion, law, and politics are bodies of knowledge and institutionalized rules that generate order and control uncertainty. With modernity, the dominant liberal paradigm is aimed at differentiating categorically between them (M. Weber, J. Habermas, J. Rawls), separating their respective logics and “places” in society. In times of transformation and crisis, however, this “art of separation” (M. Walzer) cannot be taken for granted. For instance, religion has taken new political forms and entered into legal battles in the public sphere (L. Zucca and C. Ungureanu). Conversely, political and legal groups have become ever more involved in regulating moral-religious conflicts that divide people living under both democratic and non-democratic regimes. Nationalist-populist forces have often articulated their rhetoric by drawing on religious topoi and myths and galvanizing religious groups in society (C. Bottici; B. Challand). These phenomena have been articulated differently depending on the socio-historical context, and recent challenges have blurred and complexified the relation between religion, law, and politics. It is reasonable to assume, moreover, that the current COVID-19 crisis will further fuel religious effervescence and reactions, as well as new forms of authoritarianism.

This Special Issue contributes to the advancement of a renewed hermeneutics focused on the complexities of the relation between politics, law, and religion in the current “unsettled” times (A. Swidler), marked by multifaceted crises (ecological, democratic, epidemical), impacts of both migratory flows and situations of immobility, and the consequent rise in uncertainty. We welcome both theoretical and empirical (case or comparative) studies taking into consideration different historical contexts, religions, and spiritualities. This Special Issue is interdisciplinary and open to contributions from the social sciences (e.g., sociology, political science, anthropology), the humanities (e.g., religious studies, philosophy, history, critical theory, gender studies), and the arts (e.g., literature). It also welcomes contributions from decolonial and postcolonial studies that question the actual links between religion, law, and politics and propose new articulations for our understanding of religion and society.

We look forward to receiving contributions by 18 December 2020.