LSE Research

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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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    When racialised assumptions don’t fit: White Muslims and the contestation of threat

When racialised assumptions don’t fit: White Muslims and the contestation of threat

The categories ‘white British’ and ‘British Muslim’ may appear to be exclusive, so what are the consequences of this assumption? Through her work on white Muslim identities in the UK, Amena Amer has identified two main narratives in the British press regarding white Muslims. Their religion is used to explain their association with extremism, while their whiteness offers them […]

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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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    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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    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 […]

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    The Istanbul Convention in Croatia: Attending to the anxiety in the intersection of belief and policy-making

The Istanbul Convention in Croatia: Attending to the anxiety in the intersection of belief and policy-making

The current controversy surrounding the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Croatia brings attention to the anxieties that religious people in democratic countries experience when confronted by policy initiatives that they perceive as contrary to their beliefs. Miguel Alcalde (LSE) and Josipa Šarić (University of Kent) consider how the genuine concerns of the people are often drowned in debates […]

The Global ‘Body of Christ’ in Taiwan and Beyond

Through weaving together family history and anthropological fieldwork, LSE PhD student Gareth Breen considers one Taiwanese Christian group’s ‘circular’ concept of the Body of Christ, and how this notion sustains a self-understanding of ‘one church’ increasingly spread across the globe.

Within the various histories of Christianity the ‘Body of Christ’ has been what we might call a ‘glocalising’ image. On […]