The Godless Crusade

Religion, Populism, and Right-Wing Identity Politics in the West

May 17, 2023
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Berkley Center 3rd Floor Conference Room Map

How Christian is Christian nationalism? Tobias Cremer’s new book The Godless Crusade argues that the rise of right-wing populism in the West and its references to religion are driven more by the emergence of a new secular identity politics than by a resurgence of religious fervor. Based on his exclusive interviews with 116 populist leaders, key policymakers, and faith leaders in the United States, Germany, and France, Cremer shows how right-wing populists use Christianity as a cultural identity marker of the “pure people” against external “others” while often remaining disconnected from Christian values, beliefs, and institutions. However, right-wing populists’ willingness and ability to employ religion in this way critically depends on the actions of mainstream party politicians and faith leaders. They can either legitimize right-wing populists’ identitarian use of religion or challenge it, thereby cultivating “religious immunity” against populist appeals.

This event will feature Tobias Cremer, a Junior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, and former Berkley Center visiting research fellow. Berkley Center Senior Research Fellow Judd Birdsall will moderate the discussion. This event will be in person at the Berkley Center only. Lunch will be served.

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