Theorizing religious resurgence

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Most attempts to theorize religious resurgence rest on assumptions that reveal more about the social and cultural foundations of contemporary international relations than they do about the phenomenon under study. These assumptions encourage scholars to see religion as either an irrational force to be expelled from modern public life or as the foundation of entrenched competition between rival civilizations. I present an alternative theorization that identifies religious resurgence whenever authoritative secularist settlements of the relationship between religion and politics are challenged. Through a case study of the rise of Islamic political identity in Turkey, I show that the religious resurgence is neither epiphenomenal nor evidence of cultural incommensurability. It is instead a manifestation of attempts to reconfigure modern divisions between the sacred and the secular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-665
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Politics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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