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Hibbard, Scott W., 1962-
Religious politics and secular states : Egypt, India and the United States / Scott W. Hibbard
Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2010
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  BL65.P7 H53 2010    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Religion and politics -- Egypt
Religion and politics -- India
Religion and politics -- United States
Conservatism -- Egypt
Conservatism -- India
Conservatism -- United States
Subject Egypt -- Politics and government
India -- Politics and government
United States -- Politics and government
Physical Description xvi, 306 p. ; 24 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 259-295) and index
Contents Introduction: Rethinking the secular state -- Reinterpreting modern religious politics -- The rise and decline of Egyptian secularism -- The rise and decline of Egyptian politics -- The rise and decline of Indian secularism -- Embedding communalism in Indian politics -- The rise and decline of American secularism -- Religious nationalism in the Reagan-Bush era -- Conclusion: Religious politics reconsidered
Summary This Comparative analysis probes why conservative renderings of religious tradition in the United States, India, and Egypt remain so influential in the politics of these three ostensibly secular societies. The United States, Egypt, and India were quintessential models of secular modernity in the 1950s and 1960s. By the 1980s and 1990s, conservative Islamists challenged the Egyptian government, India witnessed a surge in Hindu nationalism, and the Christian right in the United States rose to dominate the Republican Party and large swaths of the public discourse. Using a nuanced theoretical framework that emphasizes the interaction of religion and politics, Scott W. Hibbard argues that three interrelated issues led to this state of affairs. First, as an essential part of the construction of collective identities, religion serves as a basis for social solidarity and political mobilization. Second, in providing a moral framework, religion's traditional elements make it relevant to modern political life. Third, and most significant, in manipulating religion for political gain, political elites undermined the secular consensus of the modern state that had been in place since the end of World War II. Together, these factors sparked a new era of right-wing religious populism in the three nations. Although much has been written about the resurgence of religious politics, scholars have paid less attention to the role of state actors in promoting new visions of religion and society. Religious Politics and Secular States fills this gap by situating this trend within long-standing debates over the proper role of religion in public life. --Book Jacket

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