Weaponizing God for the Clash of Liberal and Traditional Values

May 14, 2020
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

“Marriage as a union between a man and a woman” is a slogan that, no matter if you are in the United States in the 2000s, in Romania in the mid-2010s, or in present-day Russia, has become a leitmotif of the new phantom which is haunting the European continent: the so-called “illiberal” movement.

In this presentation, Tatiana Cojocari, Fulbright visiting researcher at the Berkley Center from the University of Bucharest in Romania, used the 2018 Romanian Pro-Family Referendum as a case study of a polarized debate on Christian values from the perspective of involved actors and promoted societal narratives. This launched into more expansive ideas as to why Romania and other Central and Eastern European countries became favorable environments for exporting America’s so-called “culture wars” into Europe. Tatiana is exploring directly from the field, in an ongoing research project, what aspects and factors compel conservative American organizations such as the International Organization for the Family, ADF International, the European Center for Law and Justice, Liberty Counsel, and others, to be actively involved in supporting the referendum initiative in Romania and other European countries, and even to collaborate with the Russian Orthodox Church in forming a transnational “traditional values coalition.” Is it just a simple marriage of convenience as some scholars propose, or can it be transformed in the future in a deeper long-term ideological alliance to shape the international world?

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