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Justifying religious nationalism in historical and contemporary times

Barbara Ann Jennifer Rieffer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study began by noting the absence of religion in many discussions of nationalism. Despite the self-proclaimed connection between religion and nationalism in India, Ireland, and elsewhere, this relationship has been neglected in many discussions of nationalism. Assumptions about liberalism and modernization can account for the neglect of religion within the majority of the research on nationalism. The neglect of religion has been a mistake which this work has tried to help alleviate. This research has also distinguished between different degrees of religious influence. Furthermore, this study explained the connection between religion and nationalism. Often religion is most feasible means to promote and obtain the national goals of political autonomy. Religious traditions have the ability to turn to a grassroots network previously developed to be mobilized. Religious traditions already have at their disposal institutional resources, gathering places, members, and the means of communicating to large groups of people. This work also discussed the implications and consequences of the congruence of religious nationalism. Religiously defined nations tend to discriminate and persecute religious minorities. Lastly, this work has presented three discussions of the benefits of religious nationalism. Religious nationalism ought to be tolerated and in some instances promoted since it helps further political self-determination, self-defense, and in some instances, it can rectify an historic injustice. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, General

Recommended Citation

Rieffer, Barbara Ann Jennifer, "Justifying religious nationalism in historical and contemporary times" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3098175.