free essays
Free essays

Religion and Politics


Religionand Politics

of Chapter 1

Chapterone presents the political determinants of religion. This chapterargues that, of the three religions that are tightly related byAbrahamic revelation, Judaism seemed disengaged from politics. Thechapter presents that the separation of church and state is aconstruct of political theory instead of a description of governingreality. Besides, the chapter indicates that any balance amid thereligious and the political spheres depends upon a particular set ofenvironmental circumstances over which each sphere has only marginalcontrol. According to the chapter, there are eight politicaldeterminants of religion these include historic moments, nationalismin the Middle East, changing environment, dependable variable,identity, ideology, institutions, and political culture. Theinvention of the printing press, mass literacy, and the new massmedia has been seen to transform politics and religion. In addition,the chapter presents that economic situations and social class arevital in conditioning religion in the modern era (Robert, 2013).

Chapter2 Summary

Thischapter presents religion as a causal force. The chapter argues that,in the past, individuals failed to see the relationship amid religionand politics however, a fusion of political and religious systemswas viewed to mark a traditional society (Robert, 2013). Themodernization theory in the 50’s and 60’s usually identifiedpolitical development with secularizing the polity. On the otherhand, secularization theory of the end of 19thcentury emerged, when religion was viewed as an ever-diminishingforce. The chapter also presents the idea that religion obstructspolitical development only a state in which religion and politicsare thoroughly separated can offer political development. Some typesof religion should give way or engage in reform in case politicaldevelopment is to occur. Besides, the chapter presents the idea thatthe alteration of religious principle into modern political ideologycannot serve the function of political development. In addition,religious identities may thwart the formation of strong politiescompetent to ensure peace and freedom for its citizens, when notcongruent with a state’s boundaries. Furthermore, it also presentsthe ideas that religion enhances political development and religionis irrelevant as politics tend to shape religion much more comparedto how religion shapes politics therefore, religion need to beviewed as a dependent variable, but not a causative factor forpolitical development (Robert, 2013).

Question1 what are the four historical developments that have had heavyconsequences for the relationship between religion and politics?

Theseare the advents of the state itself, shift from oral to writtentraditions, invention of the printing press, and printing ofmaterials in vernacular European languages.

Question2 which first new nation in the Middle East was the first to face theneed of constructing a new relationship between religion andpolitics?


Question3 why did nationalism in the Middle East differ from the Europeanmodel?

Itwas because new nations appeared without the widespread literacy,which marked Europe in the nineteenth century.

Question4 what factors shape both religion and politics?

Thesefactors include geography, economics and social structure.

Question5 when did the modernization theory indicating the relationshipbetween religion and politics collapse?

Thistheory collapsed in the 70’s and 80’s.

Question6 what was the main idea of presented by the proponents of secularismconcerning religion and political development?

Mostproponents of secularism overstressed the dangers of religion and thenegative effects of religion towards political development.


Robert,D. L. (2013). Religionand Politics in the Middle East: Identity, Ideology, Institutions,and Attitudes, 2nd edition.New York: Westview Press.