Religious Nationalism Essay

1564 Words 7 Pages
Religious nationalism is the idea that religion and politics are intertwined. According to Mark Juergensmeyer there are two types of religious nationalism; ethnic and ideological. In his essay he explains the four steps that seem to be common in all religious nationalism movements around the world. Although not exact, the sequence he has compiled is from his research on religious nationalism. The first type of religious nationalism depicted by Juergensmeyer is ethnic religious nationalism. Ethnic religious nationalism is the idea that the land and the people of that land are linked directly to the religion and politics of that specific area and people group. In ethnic religious nationalism, “religion provides the identity that …show more content…
Today, Shinto is still a vital part, and though no longer state supported, many Japanese people still claim to be Shinto even if they claim another religion such as Buddhism (Hope & Woodward 221). Secondly, there is ideological religious nationalism. Ideological religious nationalism is about more than land and a people group. It embodies the values and morals of the society. As stated by Juergensmeyer, “In the case of religious nationalism, the ideology combines traditional religious beliefs in divine law and religious authority with the modern notion of the nation-state” (3). This is to say that there is no separation between church and state. The law of the land is the law of the church and vice versa. One example Juergensmeyer present s of ideological religious nationalism is the Islamic revolution of 1979 in Iran. Although the country was in a time of growing prosperity, there was a cry for the overthrow of the government and for religious leaders to run the country (Evans). On January 19th, 1979, Iran’s leader, the Shah, had fled the country due to uproar from the people lead by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini was a Shiite Muslim cleric who was in exile in Pairs, but had been working to overthrow the Shah of Iran’s government for years. Khomeini had vowed to the people that he would return, and promised to form an Islamic government. According to reports, over a million people filled the streets to cheer on Khomeini after the

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