Religion, Nationalism, and Violence: An Integrated Approach

Publication Date: 
July 2013
Annual Review of Sociology Vol. 39: 193-210 (Volume publication date July 2013)

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Abstract: Scholarly work on the nexus of religion, nationalism, and violence is currently fragmented along disciplinary and theoretical lines. In sociology, history, and anthropology, a macro-culturalist approach reigns; in political science, economics, and international relations, a micro-rationalist approach is dominant. Recent attempts at a synthesis ignore religion or fold it into ethnicity. A coherent synthesis capable of adequately accounting for religious-nationalist violence must not only integrate micro and macro, cultural and strategic approaches; it must also include a meso level of elite conflict and boundary maintenance and treat the religious field as potentially autonomous from the cultural field.