Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities

Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities

Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana

Valparaiso University invites you to a special symposium, “Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities” on April 8, 2022. The symposium will take place in three sessions, with the first focusing on problems, the second on possibilities, and the third on integrating issues of faith, nationalism, and the problems of historical memory into undergraduate curricula.

Description: Today’s world is witnessing to new configurations of alliances and conflicts between religious institutions and the state. Religion is a key player in rewriting nationalist narratives that underpin state policies. In the United States, evangelical Christians influence state policies and contribute to nationalist agendas. The Orthodox Church is a leader in the resurgence of nationalism in post-Soviet Russia and the rehabilitation of the mythological past of “Holy Russia” that contributes to the state’s ideological agenda. Analysts express concern that religion will fuel the flames of nationalist isolationism and increase the possibilities for international incidents of polarization, violence, and war. Critics call for the complete separation of religious organizations from the state. In some places of the world, cooperation between religious institutions and the state can become a positive force at the local and international levels. Religious leaders can consult the state and contribute to the formation of national identity that is inclusive and does not pose a threat to international peace.

The symposium is a hybrid event. Participants may attend in-person or via livestream (more details forthcoming).  

Confirmed panelists:

Antoine Arjakovsky, Collège de Bernardins, Paris
Scott Hibbard, DePaul University, Chicago
Atalia Omer, University of Notre Dame, South Bend
Robert Saler, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis
Dorian Llywelyn, S.J., Santa Clara University
Slavica Jakelic, Valparaiso University
Timothy Larsen, Wheaton College
Philipp Gollner, Goshen College
Samuel Graber, Valparaiso University

Click here for more information.

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