The public visibility of headscarves has become emblematic of broader polemical debates about Islam in Europe. This chapter focuses on veiling in ten Western European countries to consider (1) the range and lack of uniformity across the European Union when it comes to how the public presence of hijabs is articulated and legislated, and (2) greater convergence related to public opinion and governmental prohibition of full-face hijabs (or niqabs). This overview is paired with a review of scholarly literature on hijabs and the prevalent nation state and cultural diversity frameworks often used to explain their differing acceptances and refusals.
Nancy E. Bedford
Given the fact that religion and globalization are significantly intertwined, what should we make of the contemporary religious faith and practices of Latin American women? Do religious conversion and active participation in a community of faith amount to “adaptive solutions” to the crisis unleashed by capitalist globalization, analogous to those made by women as economic agents? From the perspective of the sociology of religion, it has become a byword that the faith and religious community-building of women—be it the Pentecostalism of Maya women in Guatemala or the activism of Brazilian women in Roman Catholic base communities—can and do serve as coping or indeed as survival strategies in times of globalization. A theological perspective does not necessarily contradict the sociological insight that discovers ways in which religious faith and practices serve in coping and surviving. Because theology speaks in an engaged voice from within the realm of faith, however, it can allow itself—indeed it must—to delve differently than the social sciences. This chapter explores the observation that religious faith and practices of Latin American women, in these economically globalized times, often serve in rather unexpected ways to make space for life, in all of its messiness and materiality.