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Mar 6, 2019
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Judeo-Christian-Secular-Humanism versus Islam? Production and Regulation of Religious Difference and National Identity in the Netherlands After the Turn to the Right

Conveners: Ernst van den Hemel and Sakina Loukili (Meertens Institute)


Abstract

Since roughly the start of the millennium, Dutch society has experienced an influential 'turn to the right'. A sizeable body of literature focuses on the role of migration, class or islamophobia in the rise of Fortuyn, Wilders and Baudet and the concomitant changes in the Dutch political landscape. Analyses of how the turn to the right is not only a reaction to but rather a production of religious difference remain relatively rare. This constitutes a lacuna, because notions of religious difference are part of radical transformations in the contemporary Dutch political landscape: From renewed interest in Christianity as part of secular Dutch Leitkultur to the perceived incompatibility of 'Islam' with Dutchness, from the secular embrace of religion as national heritage to the ongoing diversification of 'actual' religions, religious difference has played an integral part in the demarcation of feelings of belonging in the 21st century.

 

Moving beyond the simplified yet widely shared analysis of the turn to the right as a clash between secular Dutch society and the religion of newcomers this panel invites contributions that see our present as deeply engaged with reframing religious difference. What are the implications of the discursive transformations of the turn to the right for how religious difference is imagined, felt, conceptualized, legislated and policed?

 

Contributions may include analyses of: the role of religion in new right populist discourse or discourses emulating or contesting such discourses, changing policy related to the regulation of religions, implications of the turn to the right for faith communities, the rise of new modalities of confessional politics (e.g. the rise of Islam-inspired parties such as NIDA but also transformations of Christian Democracy), analysis of 21st century progressive political thought on religion (or the absence thereof), legislation regarding religious freedom and secularity, debates concerning confessional/public education, and analyses of how emotions concerning religious difference are circulated, shaped, contested and politicized in (social) media-practices. And finally, though focussed on Dutch society, this panel is also open for papers placing the turn to the right in an international perspective.