Politics and religion were two sides of the same coin.
Wesleyan missionaries went to Upper Burma for many and complex reasons but their main purpose
was to convert Burmans to Christianity. One scholar described it as a
‘corrupting’ task. 1 Another
suggested that giving ‘pagan souls the same cast as our own’ was to personalise
imperialism. 2 Few missions achieved the
conversion targets set for them by their societies. As a result mission histories are often
histories of failure. 3 Conversion rates
This book offers the first ever ethnography of the Orange Order in Scotland via an in-depth analysis of ‘The Good’ of exceptionalism. While stylistically similar to Freemasonry, the Orange Order differs in being a strictly Protestant-only fraternity committed to preserving the Reformation and the constitutional union of the United Kingdom. Established in late eighteenth-century Ulster, the Order today is not only ultra-Protestant and ultra-unionist, but, according to critics, is also deeply sectarian, viewing Roman Catholicism as a despotic religious-cum-political ‘menace’ dedicated to destroying Great Britain. Through a fine-grained anthropological account of Orangeism during the Scottish independence debate, this book takes readers inside Scotland’s most infamous fraternal organisation – an organisation which members refer to not as a secret society, but as a ‘society with secrets’. What, according to these Scottish Orangemen, should a good Protestant life look like? By drawing on new literature within the anthropology of ethics and morality, this book answers this central question by examining the culture of Scottish Orangeism in the widest possible sense, assessing the importance not only of loyalist marches and unionist political campaigning, but also Orange gossip and fraternal drinking, the performance of ritual and secrecy, celebrations of football fandom and sectarian hate, as well as the formation and sharing of anti-Catholic conspiracy narratives. Combining ethnographic depth with analytical breadth, this book argues that what makes the Order so compelling to members yet so repugnant to its critics is its steadfast refusal to separate religion from politics and fraternity from ethnicity.
How do secular Jewish-Israeli millennials feel about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, having come of age in the shadow of the failed Oslo peace process, when political leaders have used ethno-religious rhetoric as a dividing force? This is the first book to analyse blowback to Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli religious nationalism among this group in their own words. It is based on fieldwork, interviews and surveys conducted after the 2014 Gaza War. Offering a close reading of the lived experience and generational memory of participants, it offers a new explanation for why attitudes to Occupation have grown increasingly conservative over the past two decades. It examines the intimate emotional ecology of Occupation, offering a new argument about neo-Romantic conceptions of citizenship among this group. Beyond the case study, it also offers a new theoretical framework and research methods for researchers and students studying emotion, religion, nationalism, secularism and political violence around the world.
that had been made by Hobbes in The Elements when he affirmed
‘That subjects are not bound to follow their private judgments in
controversies of religion’ ( Chapter 6 , p. II),
and ‘That subjects are not bound to follow the judgment of any
authority in controversies of religion which is not dependent on the
sovereign power’ ( Chapter 7 , p. II). God had
inscribed moral law into men to let them
Separate but equal? Schools and the politics of religion and diversity in the Republic of Ireland focuses on the historical and current place of religion in the Irish education system from the perspective of children’s rights and citizenship. It offers a critical analysis of the political, cultural and social forces that have perpetuated the patronage system, looks at the ways in which the denominational model has been adapted to increased religious and cultural diversity in Irish society and shows that recent changes have failed to address persistent discrimination and the absence of respect for freedom of conscience. It relates current debates on the denominational system and the role of the State in education to Irish political thought and conceptions of national identity in Ireland, showing the ways in which such debates reflect a tension between nationalist-communitarian and republican political outlooks. There have been efforts towards accommodation and against instances of discrimination within the system, but Irish educational structures still privilege communal and private interests and hierarchies over equal rights, either in the name of a de facto ‘majority’ right to religious domination or by virtue of a deeply flawed and limited view of ‘parental choice’.
State and religion in the
Our whole people consists of Catholics, Protestants and Presbyterians, and is, therefore, greater than any of these sects, and equal to them altogether
Wolfe Tone, Writings1
Questions concerning the institutional relationship between State and religion – and the appropriate role of religion in the political domain – have naturally engaged most republican thinkers. Historically, of course, the relationship
between religion and ‘real-world’ republicanism has proven somewhat antagonistic. For republicans
Citizenship v. religion in the school
curricula of the 2000s
This chapter will examine how general policy orientations were translated into
school curricula in the late 1990s and 2000s with regard to cultural and religious matters. Can these curricula be said to demonstrate a pluralist transition,
or even revolution, as compared with the still strongly Christian educational
message of the 1970s? We will consider the school curricula as statements of
intent on the part of Irish public institutions.
As Fionnuala Waldron remarked in her analysis of Irish
This book presents the rich fabric of language, clothing, food, and architecture which forms the diverse religious, political, cultural and ethnic identities of humanity. The colour of a scarf, the accent of a conversation, can unite people or divide them, and the smallest detail can play its part in signalling who are allies and who are enemies, as much for elites as for citizens in a democracy. Human identity is neither rigidly determined nor unpredictable and spontaneous, but between those two extremes is the forum on which the public life of humanity is generated. After a century in which an assumption was held across the ideological spectrum from left to right and from Marxists to economic individualists that the rational pursuit of material gain underlay social and political activity, the fundamental importance of the cultivation and preservation of identity is re-emerging across the whole spectrum of politics in which Britain is one example only. Yet while identity is the dimension in which public life is conducted, it is inherently paradoxical: on the one hand people cultivate their identity by association with a group, or religion, or nation, whilst on the other hand they distinguish themselves from their associates within those groups by presenting an intensified or purer form of the qualities which otherwise unite them. So identity simultaneously generates equality and inequality, between identification by association, and identity by exclusion and differentiation; it is both the engine of public life, and the cause of its confusion and conflict. This Open Access edition was funded by London School of Economics and Political Science.
This book examines the phenomenon of the rise and fall of the Irish Celtic Tiger from a cultural perspective. It looks at Ireland's regression from prosperity to austerity in terms of a society as opposed to just an economy. Using literary and cultural theory, it looks at how this period was influenced by, and in its turn influenced, areas such as religion, popular culture, politics, literature, photography, gastronomy, music, theatre, poetry and film. It seeks to provide some answers as to what exactly happened to Irish society in the past few decades of boom and bust. The socio-cultural rather than the purely economic lens it uses to critique the Celtic Tiger is useful because society and culture are inevitably influenced by what happens in the economic sphere. That said, all of the measures taken in the wake of the financial crash sought to find solutions to aid the ailing economy, and the social and cultural ramifications were shamefully neglected. The aim of this book therefore is to bring the ‘Real’ of the socio-cultural consequences of the Celtic Tiger out of the darkness and to initiate a debate that is, in some respects, equally important as the numerous economic analyses of recent times. The essays analyse how culture and society are mutually-informing discourses and how this synthesis may help us to more fully understand what happened in this period, and more importantly, why it happened.
This innovative and timely reassessment of political theology opens new lines of critical investigation into the intersections of religion and politics in contemporary Asia. Political Theologies and Development in Asia pioneers the theo-political analysis of Asian politics and in so doing moves beyond a focus on the (Post-)Christian West that has to date dominated scholarly discussions on this theme. It also locates ‘development’ as a vital focus for critical investigations into Asian political theologies. The volume includes contributions by leading anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists. Each chapter brings new theoretical approaches into conversation with detailed empirical case studies grounded in modern Asia. Not only does the volume illustrate the value and import of this approach to a diverse set of contemporary Asian societies and religions, but it also provides a forceful argument for why political theology itself requires this broader horizon to remain relevant and critical. The focus on ‘development’ – conceptualised broadly here as a set of modern transnational networks of ideas and practices of improvement that connect geographically disparate locations¬¬ – enables a fresh and critical analysis of the ways in which political theology is imagined, materialised, and contested both within and beyond particular nation-states. Investigating the sacred dimensions of power through concepts of transcendence, sacrifice, and victimhood, and aspiration and salvation, the chapters in this collection demonstrate how European and Asian modernities are bound together through genealogical, institutional, and theo-political entanglements, as well as a long history of global interactions.