Chapter 3 Religion and Politics Overview Harvey Cox predicted the termination of religion?s historic role in politics and public life Latin America: reduced role of the Catholic Church in education; India: amelioration of the injustices of the caste system; Middle East: the creation of more secular pol systems Both modernization and dependency theorists viewed religion either as an impediment to political and ec dev, or unimportant The meeting of Church and State US: Black Baptist Churches impacted the American Civil Rights movement; the Christian right influences the Republican Party Italy: the Catholic Church was closely linked to the Italian Christian Democratic Party Iran: since 1979 Islamic Revolution, public policy has been shaped by the Shia clergy India: BJP (the largest pol party in India) promotes Hindu fundamentalism Religions in LDCs Four major religions in LDCs: Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam None of the four major religions is monolithic (Buddhism has two major schools, Islam has the Sunni and Shia branches) Latin American Catholics show important political differences: some were anticommunist and supported fascist movements, rightist death squads, military regimes others fought for social justice favoring the poor Religion and modernity What is the impact of religion on modernity? Religious institutions may inhibit development in some respects while encouraging in others Positive impact of religion: Confucianism is credited with facilitating modernization in East Asia Islamic and Catholic leaders support welfare programs based on communal responsibility Buddhist monks support political leaders who promote individual rights and responsibilities Does political modernization require secularization? 2 components of the argument: empirical and normative Empirical component: the case of Western societies show that modernization led to secular political systems Normative assumption: secularization is not only a common trend but also desirable as long as it increases religious freedom and reduces state persecution of religious minorities The Church-State relations Donald Smith?s two types of religio-political systems: Organic system: the clergy is insufficient organized to challenge the country?s political leaders (Hindu and most Sunni Islamic cultures) Church system: well-organized religious institutions which exercise considerable authority over politics (Catholicism, Shia Islam) Islam (I) No borderline between religion and politics: the Islamic faith and its clergy legitimized the state and the political leadership recognized the supremacy of Islamic law Islam (II) John Esposito?s three types of Islamic regimes: Secular state (Turkey): political system offers Islam no special status; even prohibits certain Islamic practices Islamic states (Afghanistan, Iran): political governing philosophy is based on the Quran; many of them are Anti-Western and support terrorism (Iran, Libya), other pro-West (S.Arabia Muslim states (Egypt, Morocco): identify Islam as the official religion but religion?s impact on politics is more limited than in Islamic states Catholicism Well-defined and hierarchical ecclesiastical structure that enables it to have a great impact on politics Pope?s authority is unchallenged and his faith and moral pronouncements are unfailing Church doctrine has generally supported the established political regime and helped legitimize it? but not always (Philippines, Brazil, Cuba) Hinduism and Buddhism Less involved in politics than Catholicism, Islam Hinduism is so diverse so that it does not exercise much political influence Hinduism: no ecclesiastical organization Buddhism promotes egalitarianism and does not have a strong religious structure (not much impact on politics) Both Hindu and Buddhist philosophies do not place much emphasis on temporal matters as politics Religious fundamentalism: overview Definition: the effort to define the fundamentals of a religious system and adhere to them Commonalities of different forms of rel. fund.: 1. Preserve their religion?s traditional view and oppose reformism and ?outside? influences 2. Increase the role of religion in private and public life (politics, lifestyle, dress) 3. Appeal to those who are disgusted by the inequalities and injustices in their pol-ec system Radical and conservative fundamentalists Radical fundamentalists are conducting a ?holy war? against forces that ?corrupt? their fundamental religious values. Ex. Islamic mujahideen in Afghanistan, Iran?s Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden Conservative fundamentalists want protect their religious values from outside influences but the followers of other religions are not viewed as enemies. Ex.: Saudi Arabian princes Radical Islamism Iranian Revolution. Three developments which set the tone for the Islamic Rev. Al Qaeda. Afghanistan (1979-1989), fighting the United States Support for bin Laden in the Muslim countries. Radical Hindu Fundamentalism Less dangerous than its Islamic counterpart Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the leading political voice of Hindu Fundam. in India BJP has not pursued anti-Western policies BJP?s factions: hardliners and moderates As a less well-organized religion, Hinduism?s fundamentalist beliefs are less clearly spelled out Hindu religious leadership has been divided between various interest groups and parties Religion and democracy I. Does liberal democracy require the separation of church and state? 1. Yes. Limiting the influence of religion on politics maintains pluralism and tolerance. 2. No. Religion and democracy can coexist. II. Are certain religions more supportive than others of democratic values? 1. Yes. Protestant countries are more likely to be democratic than are Catholic and Muslim c. 2. Religions change over time?
Want to see the other 16 page(s) in Religion and Politics?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!