Friday Apr 28, 2023

Religion in Praxis Conversations Series | Tobias Cremer

In the eighteenth part of the conversations series, we ask: "How has the relationship between religion, populism, and right-wing identity politics
evolved in recent years, and what are the key factors driving this change?
 How secularization, globalization, individualization, and rapid ethnic change have acted as demand-side developments, leading to the formation of this identity cleavages between cosmopolitans and communitarians?"

In this episode, we meet with Dr. Tobias Cremer to discuss his book “The Godless Crusade Religion, Populism and Right-Wing Identity Politics in the West.Cremer postulates that the rise of right-wing populism in the West and its references to religion are less driven by a resurgence of religious fervor, than by the emergence of a new secular identity politics. Based on exclusive interviews with 116 populist leaders, key policy makers and faith leaders in the USA, Germany, and France, Cremer shows how right-wing populists use Christianity as a cultural identity marker of the 'pure people' against external 'others' while often remaining disconnected from Christian values, beliefs, and institutions. However, right-wing populists' willingness and ability to employ religion in this way critically depends on the actions of mainstream party politicians and faith leaders. They can either legitimize right-wing populists' identitarian use of religion or challenge it, thereby cultivating 'religious immunity' against populist appeals. As the populist wave breaks across the West, a new debate about the role of religion in society has begun.


Music for the Conversation Series is generously provided by the Shavnabada Choir . The project author and the host of the Conversation Series is Dr. Tornike Metreveli.


Religion and Theology is produced by Joel Kuhlin for the Center for Theology and Religious Studies. If you have comments or critique of this episode, or any other episodes of R&T, please contact us via the podcast's twitteraccount: @reloteol.

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