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Religious and Political Identities: The Mediterranean since 1492

The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute engaged in a joint research project to rethink the relationship between religion, nation, and state throughout the Mediterranean basin from early modernity to the present. A series of workshops explored the interaction of Eastern and Latin Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—among individual Christian, Muslim, and Jewish adherents; with one another as religious institutions; and with states and societies across the region.
The project addressed the ongoing transformations of the region's major religions in relation to changes in political institutions and communal identities across three different periods: a) from the emergence of the Ottoman empire and the expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain to the time of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt; b) from the emergence of the modern secular state and modern nationalism in the Western Mediterranean to its various configurations in the post-Ottoman territories; and c) the contemporary destabilization of secular national projects and the reinvigoration of religious political identities and movements from the 1960s to the present.
Hagia Sophia

Project Leader

José Casanova headshot

José Casanova

Senior Fellow
Department of Sociology and Department of Theology