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Religion and Politics: Historical Developments and Contemporary Transformations

Religion and Politics: Historical Developments and Contemporary Transformations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The relationship between religion and politics is both dynamic and complex. Scholars have revealed ways in which individual religious beliefs and practices influence political attitudes, as well as how political movements shape the actions of religious people and institutions. In short, religion and politics often have a reciprocal relationship. Moreover, this relationship has important implications for individual liberty, civic engagement, global conflict, and human rights.

A few contemporary examples of this dynamic relationship include research on American politics that has suggested citizens will sometimes adapt their religious identities and even religious affiliation because of their partisan commitments; how politicians in Brazil must negotiate how to campaign between two major religious movements, Catholicism and Evangelicalism (and especially Pentecostalism); how, in Turkey, laïcité (secularism) is a constitutional provision, but Islam is incorporated in the public-school curriculum; the growth of Hindu nationalism in India, which has had domestic effects but has also generated tensions in international relations; and how a swath of coups in Africa have raised concerns about religious violence and violations of religious freedom.

These developments are by no means limited to modern politics. Questions about religious establishments, empire, religious violence, and conscientious objection define humanity’s politics and philosophic advances throughout all of documented human history. Figures no less than Aristotle, al-Farabi, Jesus, Confucius, Gandhi, Marx, and more have articulated normative and positive theories about politics and religion.

This Special Issue, “Religion and Politics: Historical Developments and Contemporary Transformations,” thus seeks to explore the intricacies of this reciprocal relationship through various research methods, including (but not limited to) historical or legal analysis, political theory, theological exegesis, ethnography and case studies, experiments, and large-N quantitative methods. Articles may focus on a single or multiple geographic areas, comparative theories, or global phenomena, and contributions of high-quality scholarship from any academic discipline related to the focus of the Special Issue are welcome. In assessing this relationship over time and through several different approaches, we hope to further advance the scholarly understanding of how religion affects politics and how politics affects religion.

Possible themes of interest may include, as follows:

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors submit a proposed title and an abstract of 200–300 words summarizing their intended contribution. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editors for the purposes of ensuring their proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Please send the manuscript to the Guest Editor or to the Assistant Editor of Religions. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Andre P. Audette
Dr. Christopher Weaver
Dr. Mark Brockway
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.

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