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date: 20 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter adopts a study-of-religion perspective in discussing key issues of the entanglement of religion and politics. The starting point is the modern Western idea of separation between religion and state, which provides the backdrop of the common view that religion and politics represent two distinct and disconnected spheres of social life. This normative understanding is in contradiction to empirical findings showing that politics and religion are in many ways interrelated. Relevant topics include the role of religion in legitimating and supporting the existing political order as well as opposing and devaluing it, the involvement of religious institutions in politics, the overlapping of religion and politics in the public sphere, possible conflicts between the power of the state and the power of religions, and the question of how religions are related to specific forms of government and to political ideologies is examined.

Keywords: ideology, legitimation, politics, power, religion, sacralization, state

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