We God’s People: A Book Launch Event

March 24, 2022
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

The exportation of the nation-state worldwide went hand-in-hand with the diffusion of the Western concept of religion. Based on original data, We God's People: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in the World of Nations (2021) shows that this dual dissemination of nation-state and religion significantly influences the politicization of religion in countries as different as Syria, Turkey, India, China, and Russia. It argues that since the epoch of modernity, religious and political communities have continuously interacted on issues related to beliefs, behaviors, or collective identities. To do so, the book combines an exploration of institutional and ideational changes across time, which are usually separated by disciplinary boundaries. It makes a compelling case for the need to combine historical qualitative and quantitative methods in order to efficiently assess the relations between religion and politics.

In this book launch event, author Jocelyne Cesari, senior fellow at the Berkley Center, was joined by a panel of experts to discuss the themes of her book, focusing on the ways issues related to beliefs, behaviors, or collective identities respectively clash, compete or converge to identify the processes of politicization of religion-and vice versa-in any given context. The conversation went beyond the usual state-religion focus to take into account actions and ideas conveyed in other arenas such as education, welfare, and culture.

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God and Caesar: A Never-Ending Competition

In this article, Jocelyne Cesari unpacks the complex history of religion and nation-state formation both in and beyond the West. The article is adapted from the introduction to her new book, "We God's People: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in the World of Nations."
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