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    Book Review: London Youth, Religion and Politics: Engagement and Activism from Brixton to Brick Lane by Daniel Nilsson DeHanas

Book Review: London Youth, Religion and Politics: Engagement and Activism from Brixton to Brick Lane by Daniel Nilsson DeHanas

In this book Daniel Nilsson DeHanas offers an illuminating comparison of the lives of Christian and Muslim young people in Brixton, South London, and in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets. With the book focusing particularly on questions of civic engagement and political participation, Sadek Hamid finds this a valuable, empirically rich and theoretically informed text that will increase understanding of how different forms […]

May 17th, 2018|Featured, Latest|0 Comments|
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    Still an opium? Contemporary Marxists versus Karl Marx on the question of religion

Still an opium? Contemporary Marxists versus Karl Marx on the question of religion

If Karl Marx famously dismissed religion, why do some contemporary Marxists deem it to be compatible with socialism? Joseph Cronin suggests that Marx and today’s Marxists both treat religion with pragmatism. Marx saw religion as an understandable yet unhelpful response to societal inequality. Contemporary Marxists, however, note that marginalised groups tend to be more religiously observant. As society has […]

May 14th, 2018|Featured, Latest|0 Comments|
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    ‘An archaic settlement’: The National Secular Society’s bid to eradicate faith schools

‘An archaic settlement’: The National Secular Society’s bid to eradicate faith schools

With Britain simultaneously becoming less religious and more religiously diverse, can the continued existence of faith schools be justified? Stephen Evans challenges the continued privilege afforded to faith groups in the education sector, and suggests that only a fully secular education system can truly promote tolerance and inclusivity.

A new global survey has revealed that religion is a major source […]

May 10th, 2018|Featured, Latest|2 Comments|
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    The transcendental nation: The overlooked spiritual dimension of political polarisation

The transcendental nation: The overlooked spiritual dimension of political polarisation

Much of the debate surrounding the contemporary political realignment is dominated by a purely rational conception of politics. However, our political system, Julian Göpffarth writes, is based on the transcendental idea of the nation and the redemptive character of democracy. Failure to acknowledge this will further strengthen far-right parties and movements.
There are many ways in which contemporary polarisation is […]

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    The sacred for the profane: How religion challenged secular politics in Israel & Palestine

The sacred for the profane: How religion challenged secular politics in Israel & Palestine

It is clear that hardline religiosity greatly shapes the contemporary politics of both Israel and Palestine. This can suggest that the conflict between the two is inherently religious in nature. But is this correct, or an oversimplification? Anne Irfan traces the recent history of the conflict, noting a simultaneous shift on both sides from a largely secular to a […]

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    Religiosity, secularism and politics: Why Mexico has stronger LGBT rights than the USA

Religiosity, secularism and politics: Why Mexico has stronger LGBT rights than the USA

New research by Caroline Beer and Victor Cruz Aceves examines the surprising finding that Mexico has offered greater legal equality for LGBT people for a longer period of time than the United States. They argue that this can be explained by the strong importance of human rights in new democracies and, though the Mexican population is more religious, the […]

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    The Syrian refugee crisis: Religious identity as a stronger predictor than national identity of helping in global emergencies

The Syrian refugee crisis: Religious identity as a stronger predictor than national identity of helping in global emergencies

When major crises emerge, cross-national helping on the part of ordinary citizens can go a long way towards alleviating suffering – both at the level of supporting government aid policies and through offering individual charitable assistance. But can we predict who is more likely to help? Nihan Albayrak has focused on the Syrian refugee crisis and found that religious identity is a […]

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    A female ordination: British orthodox Jewish women and the global community

A female ordination: British orthodox Jewish women and the global community

The ordination of the UK’s first female orthodox Jewish Rabbi will be a landmark moment, yet her impending move to the US highlights the relative complexity of female orthodox leadership in the UK. Lindsay Simmonds outlines how a female leadership presence increases the theological possibilities available to the community, and discusses how the local UK context remains more conservative […]

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    ‘A new settlement’: The UK must recognise immigration as an ethical, not simply political, issue

‘A new settlement’: The UK must recognise immigration as an ethical, not simply political, issue

Fortress Britain, a timely new book edited by Ben Ryan, considers the UK’s confused approach towards immigration policy over many decades and how this muddled thinking continues as Brexit looms. Drawing on the themes that emerged in the book, Ben highlights the lack of ethical clarity and consistency on immigration policy and the need for new arrivals to be […]

April 18th, 2018|Europe, Featured, Latest|0 Comments|
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    The religious and the secular: Why social scientists should take prayer seriously

The religious and the secular: Why social scientists should take prayer seriously

If personal prayer is a private matter, why should social scientists consider it in their research? Anishka Gheewala-Lohiya reminds us that the majority of the world’s population is religious. She also stresses the widespread practice of prayer across different religions, and argues that the religious observer’s active ‘secular’ life cannot be easily distinguished from their personal religiosity.

If you say ‘I […]