Religious Movements as Political Actors in the Middle East

May 14, 2012 in Panels by admin

Panel languages: English/German

 

Political actors with religious platforms are once more at the forefront in the Middle East today. Especially since the so called ‘Arab Spring’ new constellations offered entirely new possibilities.

In Tunesia and Marocco conservative-islamic parties won the majority in the respective parliaments, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has also become the strongest party in the Maglis. They are accompanied by certain Salafist streams, who in reaction to the ‘democratic rupture’, became politicized. Also Shiite communities in Iraq and Lebanon are almost exclusively represented by parties, which follow a distinct political theology.

Yet the linkage between religion and politics is not limited to Islam, but can be observed within Christianity and Judaism as well. Israel, for example, faces due to the extraordinary demographic development of the ultra-Orthodox population a cultural war about morals and religious normativity in the public sphere. In the West Bank the agitation of the supposedly statist religious settlers against the Israeli Military reached a new quality. Also Lebanese Christian parties like the al-kata`ib formulate the political demands of their constituency in religiously charged language and symbols.

 

It is the aim of the panel(s), to analyse background and consequences of the new political strength of religious parties. Central questions are: What are their normative demands in the public sphere? On what religious grounds is the common good of the society founded? Are the actors in a process of democratization? Why get formerly quietisitic movements like the Salafists now politicized?

 

Presentations can be given in English and German

 

A publication in an edited volume is intended. Please send proposals until the 02ndth of July to religionnahost@gmail.com

Peter Lintl, M.A.; Christian Thuselt, M.A.; Christian Wolff, M.A.