Religion in the New Europe

Conditions of European Solidarity What Holds Europe Together? Volume I Religion in the New Europe Volume II

Religion in the New Europe Edited by Krzysztof Michalski Central European University Press Budapest New York .

1. 2 Religion in the new Europe. Contents: v. stored in a retrieval system. 2. 1948– . without the permission of the Publisher.ceupress. 3. Hungary Tel: +36-1-327-3138 or 327-3000 Fax: +36-1-327-3183 E-mail: ceupress@ceu.242’2—dc22 2005029454 Printed in Hungary by Akaprint . 1. Website: www. Michalski. or transmitted. Krzysztof. European cooperation. USA Tel: +1-212-547-6932 Fax: +1-646-557-2416 E-mail: 400 West 59th Street. ISBN 963 7326 49 9 cloth 978-963-7326-49-3 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Conditions of European solidarity / edited by Krzysztof Michalski. Europe—Religion. in any form or by any means. What holds Europe together? v. European federation. H-1051 Budapest. All rights reserved. cm. No part of this publication may be reproduced. New York NY 10019. I.C595 2005 341.©2006 by Krzysztof Michalski Published in 2006 by Central European University Press An imprint of the Central European University Share Company Nádor utca 11.

. . . . . . . . . . . . 45 David Martin Integration and Fragmentation: Patterns of Religion in Europe . 122 Olivier Roy Islam in Europe: Clash of Religions or Convergence of Religiosities? . . . 111 Nilüfer Göle Islam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Peter L. . . . . . . . . . . . . . European Public Space and Civility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Berger Observations from America . . . 131 List of Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Muslims and Islam in Europe Tariq Modood Muslims and European Multiculturalism . . . . . European Secular Identities and European Integration Judeo-Christian Heritage and Secularisation Danièle Hervieu-Léger The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Charles Taylor Religion and European Integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Bhikhu Parekh Is Islam a Threat to Europe’s Multicultural Democracies? . . . . . José Casanova Religion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145 1 23 . . . .

I propose to approach it from a certain angle. This is not just a meaningless semantic shift—like the way Americans at a certain point stopped saying “envisage” and started saying “envision.” or “identity politics. It is also fraught . very interesting and still not fully understood.” presumably because it sounded more pompously serious. thus conveying to you the value frameworks in which I sense myself to be firmly situated as I face the choices in life. These frameworks. Political identity is. There is a whole story. and which is. in the last half century.CHARLES TAYLOR Religion and European Integration I This is a tremendously broad topic. of course. We define the identities of individuals. social democrat in outlook. But first I have to explain what I mean by this term “political identity.1 I might say of myself that I am a Catholic. as when one talks of “identity crisis. the role of religion in the various political identities that are now jostling with one another in Europe. In this we are following the influential use of the term in the developmental psychology of Erik Erikson.” or of people respecting or failing to respect my/our identity. and often of groups. But it occupies a peculiar place in this constellation of expressions. hardly transparent in meaning. a Canadian/Québécois. for this kind of fundamental orientation. are so fundamental that they define “who I am”—hence the use of the term “identity” here. of how the term “identity” came to be used. related to other uses of identity today.” which is a term of art I want to introduce. in terms of the crucial reference points by which these individuals or collectivities orient themselves in life. I feel. alas.

When people coagulate around a certain identity as groups. This is the ideal famously defined by Habermas. which we do not have space to go into here. But in order to see this. will group people whose religious. on the other. sometimes conflictingly complex. some of this complexity must fall away. people with a large number and variety of complex. the dream is frequently described in terms of a political identity that is purely defined in terms of certain constitutional principles. For the purposes of this mobilization only one pole counts. and family reference points differ. . around Québécois or Scottish independence.” This term is. certain defining relations of friendship and love. So far we have approached political identity simply as a species of group identity. and multi-polar: I mentioned three main reference points in my personal statement above. multi-polar identities. abstracting from particular historical. linguistic. or hold together.2 Personal identities are usually complex. ethical. who are often torn between African–American solidarity. in fact. In this context. more problematic than is often realized. confessional allegiances. which can best be seen if we can explain why it is not an optional extra—why. on the one hand.2 Religion in the New Europe with interesting consequences.S.. We need to think only of Black feminists in the U. a stand that Liberals frequently take. in other words. But there is more to political identity than this. political identities in the modern world are unavoidable (unumgänglich. and so on. These kinds of conflicts can create a hostility to group identity mobilization. the hostility to group identity takes “nationalism” as its target. A nationalist movement. A single reference point gathers people with varied. and their convictions about gender relations. but I could also have added others—a certain family I belong to. under the term “Verfassungspatriotismus. And this is directly relevant to our theme here. because political identity can be seen as a species of group identity. This is frequently a great source of tension. for instance. we must try to get a handle on political identity. incontournable). in order to affirm or defend that identity. multi-polar identities. a unipolar reference point around which one attempts to mobilize.

more or less restrained by the respect for liberty and rights? But all sorts of bodies. communist. transferred ruling power from a king onto a “nation. He is a great thinker. whose advice is always disastrous to follow. or to the non-élite strata of society.” In the process. or some other derivative form. others demur. be they fascist. The thesis that I wish to propound here is that politically sovereign régimes require a political identity. The revolutions. if we define this latter term in a more demanding fashion. because I consider Jean-Jacques Rousseau to be the conflicted genius who first articulated many of the basic themes of modernity—from democracy through authenticity to transparency—in the fullness of their contradictory demands. Thus the notion “people” could certainly be applied to the ensemble of a kingdom’s subjects. at least in the context of early modern Europe. I make no apology for this. And yet . but this new kind of agency was something unprecedented. even the loosest aggregations.Religion and European Integration 3 When I say “the modern world.” or a “people. This is an even wider concept than the world of democracy. which ushered in regimes of popular sovereignty. The 20th century saw régimes which were far from democratic in this sense. One might easily decide this conflict by a show of hands. which might not be immediately evident. If the reader will bear with me for a few paragraphs. which those present would accept as legitimate. more precisely. they invented a new kind of collective agency. some people feel the heat to be oppressive and ask that the windows be opened. can adopt this kind of decision-making rule. Supposing. Isn’t the notion of popular sovereignty simply that of majority will. during a public lecture. but prior to the turnover it didn’t suggest an entity to which one could attribute a will. I’d like to explain this connection by employing a few considerations which have a distinctly Rousseauian flavor. a world in which the major idea of political legitimacy is that of popular sovereignty. Now this new kind of entity needs a strong form of cohesion. but that claimed to incarnate the real will of the people.” I mean. wherein a condition of democracy is that the people are offered effective political choices. but whose formulations offer unparalleled early insight into the yearnings of our age. These terms existed previously.

But how can we better understand this necessity? One way to see it is to push the logic of popular sovereignty a bit further. which makes no sense to a member of the audi- . This example shows by contrast what democratic societies need. Now supposing we regard this from the standpoint of some individual. Therefore they see its rule over them as illegitimate.. This agency is something you can be included in without really belonging to. Under a régime of popular sovereignty we are free in a way we are not. waiting to return to power in a coup. for example. unknown to one another.g. they cannot see themselves as part of this larger sovereign people. It seems at once intuitively clear that they must be bonded more powerfully than this chance grouping is. national minorities who see themselves as oppressed. Whatever one says. I am forced to abide by a rule I am opposed to. agrees with me on this question. or an entrenched aristocracy. Let’s say I am outvoted on some important issue. but it regularly arises on behalf of sub-groups. Wouldn’t I therefore be freer after the counterrevolution? After all.4 Religion in the New Europe the audience at the lecture might consist of the most disparate individuals. Why should I consider myself free? Does it matter that I am overridden by a majority of my fellow citizens. against the majority’s will. This not only suggests a certain class of decision procedures—those that are ultimately grounded on the majority (with restrictions)—but it also offers a particular justification. and this accords with the logic of popular sovereignty itself. Perhaps no response can satisfy them. It is rarely posed on behalf of individuals. without mutual concern. e. simply brought together by the event. My will is not being done. We can recognize that this kind of question is not merely a theoretical one. as opposed to the decisions of a monarch? Why should that fact be decisive? We can even imagine that a potential monarch. my will on this matter would then be put into effect. We see the inner link between popular sovereignty and the idea of the people as a collective agency here in a somewhat stronger sense than in the example of our lecture audience above. under an absolute monarch.

whose acting together through law preserves their freedom. It is only an appeal to this kind of membership that can answer the challenge of our imagined individual above. Of course. who ponders whether to support the monarch’s (or general’s) coup in the name of his freedom. and therefore also feel a bond with their co-participants in it. of those whose freedom it defends together. and have some part in decision-making. in the fact that you can be heard. valid or not. people have come to accept in democratic societies. This law defines a community. Insofar as this good is crucial to their identity. and are not ruled by some agency which need to take no account of our will. it is only insofar as people accept some such answer that the legitimacy principle of popular sovereignty . some extreme philosophical individualists believe there is no valid answer. We can see the nature of this belonging if we ask what answer we can provide to those who are outvoted. are free just by virtue of the fact that we rule ourselves in common. even where their will is over-ridden on important issues? The answer they accept runs something like this: You. whether or not you win or lose any particular decision. that appeals to some greater collective are just as much humbug as to get contrary voters to accept voluntary servitude. and thereby a kind of freedom. one whose membership realizes something very important. We can see right away that it involves their accepting a kind of belonging that is much stronger than that of the people in the lecture hall. they thus identify strongly with this agency. a people. It is an ongoing collective agency. Your freedom is created and defended by this law. But without deciding this ultimate philosophical issue. thus we enjoy it together. It defines a collective agency.Religion and European Integration 5 ence. Your freedom consists in your having a guaranteed voice in the sovereign. whoever may be ultimately right philosophically. Such is the answer. and tempted by the argument above. like the rest of us. The crucial point here is that. we can ask: what is the feature of our “imagined communities” by which people very often readily accept the fact that they are free under a democratic régime. You enjoy this freedom by virtue of a law that enfranchises all of us.

The attempts to spread the principles of the French Revolution through the force of French arms created a reaction in Germany. joined in the Holy Alliance. In the version above. The answer to the objection above: something essential to our identity is bound up in our common laws. was born out of democracy. had to have an antecedent unity of culture. the rule of this government seems illegitimate in the eyes of the rejecters. a sense of not being part of. Nationalism. now refers not just to republican freedom. as can be seen in countless cases of disaffected national minorities. but also to something of the order of cultural identity. in order to possess the unity needed for collective agency. the appeal was to what we might call “republican freedom.6 Religion in the New Europe can work to secure their consent. But even before this stage. They fail to generate this identity at their peril. as a (benign or malign) growth. It follows the logic of the legitimacy principle. What is defended and . If the identification with that agency is rejected. Italy and elsewhere. in this sense. the same appeal began to take on a nationalist form. But very soon afterwards. there seemed to be no opposition between the two. history or (more common in Europe) language. For a Mazzini. which underlies democratic régimes. that sovereign people in the name of which the Revolution was being made. It may be rule by the people. This last example points to an important modulation of the appeal to popular sovereignty. This is the crucial link between democracy and strong common agency. but we can’t accept rule by a gang we aren’t part of.3 Only later on do certain forms of nationalism throw off the allegiance to human rights and democracy in the name of self-assertion. Thus. This principle is only effective via its appeal to a strong collective agency. or represented by. they contend. It came to be accepted in many circles that a sovereign people. In early nineteenth-century Europe. as peoples struggled for emancipation from despotic multi-national empires. these were perfectly converging goals.” one inspired by ancient republics and which was invoked by the American and French Revolutions. a pre-existing cultural (sometimes ethnic) nation had to stand behind the political nation. nationalism lends another modulation to popular sovereignty.

4 This means that the modern democratic state has generally accepted common purposes. The point of these revolutions was the universal good of freedom. whatever mental exclusions the revolutionaries in fact accepted.” That is why freedom.” and in the republic that was bearer of “the rights of man. in both America and France. the features of which it can lay claim to being the bulwark of freedom. or hierarchical orders. This very universalism became the basis of a fierce national pride. In fact. and often lie undistinguishable in the rhetoric and imaginary of democratic societies. which is why the notion of popular will plays a crucial role in our legitimating idea. though in practice the two often run together. the Austrian or Turkish Empires— . even the original “republican” pre-nationalist revolutions. the American and French. or reference points. first in the French case. Of course. with the fateful results in reactive nationalism that I mentioned earlier. say. in pre-modern societies as well. the state must be so imagined by its citizens in order to be legitimate. sacred kings.Religion and European Integration 7 realized in the nation-state is not just your freedom as a human being. with which its members identify as the bulwark of their freedom. in the “last. So we have a new kind of collective agency. could unfortunately become a project of conquest. best hope for mankind. They were often willing subjects. and more recently in the American. was to the particular historical project of realizing freedom. however. have seen a kind of nationalism develop in the societies that issued from them. and the locus of its citizens’ expression. But in this democratic age we tend to identify as free agents. So questions arise for the modern state for which there is no analogue in most pre-modern forms: What/whom is this state for? Whose freedom? Whose expression? The questions seem to make no sense applied to. We can therefore speak of a “republican” variant and a “national” variant of the appeal to popular sovereignty. but also the guaranteed expression of a common cultural identity. and the locus of their national expression. or even cherished. people often “identified” with the régime. Their patriotic allegiance. Whether or not these claims are actually well-founded.

many and varied.8 Religion in the New Europe unless one answers the “whom for?” question by referring to the Habsburg or Ottoman dynasties. or confessional components. an important component of many political identities. or “Hindutva. on the other. that define what is important in their lives for each. between the “republican” components of political identities. or in ex-Yugoslavia. as hard-bitten. and with specific reference to Europe. defined as the generally accepted answer to the “what/whom for?” question. linguistic. of course. and not very pious political leaders. national. representative institutions.”5 But it is clear that this is only one facet of the phenomenon. as I argued above. I’d like now to discuss some of the ways in which religion figures in contemporary political identities. in relation to a distinction I made above. if these members are to feel strongly identified with the state. generally defined in universal. ethical terms (democracy. In some cases. such as those in Northern Ireland. historical. Religion frequently occupies a somewhat ambiguous position in modern political identities. and continues to be. This distinction is frequently not easy . The first general point to be made is that it is obvious that religion has frequently been. Ambiguous. both more broadly. often with a Communist-atheist past (and probably present: what are Slobodan Miloshevich’s theological convictions?) mobilize people around an identity whose ultimate markers are confessional: Catholic/ Protestant. human rights). that is. as well as often quite different from one another. II With the above as background. There needs to be some overlap. the identities of individuals and constituent groups will generally be richer and more complex. and the more particular. but. or the BJP in India. This is the sense in which a modern state has what I want to call a political identity. which are the reference points. which would hardly provide one with their legitimating ideas. Just think of what we often classify as “nationalist” movements or conflicts. This identity is distinct from the identities of its members. this takes on a rather paradoxical air. or Catholic/Orthodox/Muslim.

But at the same time. like the American “Wall of Separation. democracy. I want to point out that it can’t easily be done away with. (Thus in Canada. then there are . even in the latter case. But for the moment. claims of this kind from Francophones and aboriginals are at least seen as worth weighing. Of course.” or French “laïcité”. and I will discuss it further shortly. how one positions one’s demands in relation to this distinction makes a difference as to how one defends them. since it is an integral part of the framework of political argument. it is not always easy to draw. the French Republic. Certain components have a tendency to flip from one side to the other. for instance. mentioned but not discussed above.Religion and European Integration 9 to make. But our loyalty is directed not just to these principles. the bizarre and not always consistent ensemble of traditions defining “British freedom.)6 This distinction. Our sense of identity is gathered around certain constitutional principles. Therefore. say. but this second strategy of argument needs to be supplemented by considerations to the effect that schooling is essential to our continued identity. whereas a similar demand from some group of recent immigrants would generally not be so considered. It is well-known that the régimes recognizing this vary greatly among different societies. equal recognition of different identities. then. some general principle will play a role. but to a particular historical project that aims to realize them (the US Constitution. the rule of law. There are relatively strict ones. or state neutrality between different confessions. Take. is anchored in the discursive framework of contemporary democratic argument. like the well-known unstable drawings of the duck/rabbit type.” or whatever). schooling in a minority language in the name of some general principle of free choice—or we may demand it as being owed to people of this historic group in this historical situation. we have a problem with Verfassungspatriotismus. say. It is not always easy to see where one leaves off and the other begins. a universally agreed principle among modern liberal democracies. namely that of the separation of Church and state. We may ask for a certain freedom or immunity for our group— say. and that this identity has a claim to protection in this polity. That is. and human rights.

constitutional principles. The headscarves were an infringement on “laïcité” we were told. A strong Providentialist streak existed in early American thinking. and so on. particularly at this unhappy juncture in American history.g. This could be expanded into a kind of idea of moral order. and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. This is clear in the number of cases where it enters as a crucial marker of what both insiders and outsiders. was following God’s design. with Muslim girls appearing in state schools with the foulard. Protestantism for 17th and 18th-century7 Britons and Bismarckian Germany at the time of the Kulturkampf (wherein a kind of Kulturprotestantismus seemed to define the nation for a majority of its citizens). the various “headscarf” cases arose in France. ethical. unprincipled Anglo-Saxons across the Channel”? Similar questions frequently arise about expressions like the “American Way. in winning its independence and establishing its constitution. Take the case of the early American Republic. which . which all contemporary liberal democracies embrace? Or was it the particular French form that was being defended? Did the reaction take the form of: “we don’t want to be like Iran”? Or was it rather: “we don’t want to be like those sloppy. Religion has been at the heart of many modern political identities. Irish and (earlier generations of) French Canadians. But the most important source of this duck/rabbit ambivalence is religion itself. agree is a “national” identity: e..” that is often implicitly identified with “freedom” itself.10 Religion in the New Europe more relaxed and fumbling accommodations in countries like Britain and Canada. Catholicism for Poles. but did this term designate the fundamental principle itself. Orthodoxy in the case of contemporary Greece. as the above case partly illustrates. seen as established by God and invoked by the American Declaration of Independence: Men have been created equal. The new Republic. But it also plays another kind of role: as the underpinning of universal. the outraged reaction in certain “republican” circles took on an ambiguous status. When for instance. The idea of moral order expressed in this Declaration.

both at its inception.” That concept is understandably and rightly contested today. for example. that America had a vocation for carrying out God’s purposes (which alone makes sense of the passages Bellah quotes. It calls for a society structured for mutual benefit. but the basic conception of such an order of mutual service has come down to us through a series of variants. to quote a famous phrase. Its members are not agents essentially embedded in a society which in turn reflects and connects with the cosmos. including more radical ones such as presented by Marx and Rousseau. The fundamental idea. and must be understood in relation to this conception of order of free. outside of which they would not be fully human. not in a way that belonged to the enchanted world via the sacred. acts to benefit others. whom it doesn’t see as a priori within a hierarchical order. in pursuing his or her own life purposes. The most influential early articulator of this formula is John Locke.Religion and European Integration 11 has since become dominant in our world. In the earlier days. I am following Robert Bellah’s tremendously fertile idea of an American “civil religion. It was also invoked in the Declaration of . but. in which each respects the rights of others. We see ourselves. when the plan was understood as Providential. The design underlying this association is that each. as “one nation under God. and offers them mutual help of certain kinds. rather. disembedded individuals who associate together. God is present as the designer of the way we live. and the order seen as Natural Law (the same as the law of God).” In thus talking the United States as a paradigm of this new idea of order. It begins with individuals. from Kennedy’s Inaugural address and Lincoln’s second Inaugural). rightsbearing individuals. however. but because we were following His design. is quite different from the orders that preceded it. yet there is no doubt that Bellah has captured something essential about American society. because some of the conditions of that religion are now being challenged. can seem strange and threatening to many unbelievers in America today. and for some two centuries thereafter. To live in such a society was to live with God present. building a society that fulfilled these requirements was seen as fulfilling God’s design.

no longer God’s Providence. appealing to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. providing a sense that Americans are still operating on the same principles as the Founders. I would add that the important difference may be that Americans have retained something Europeans have lost: a strong “providentialist” national identity.” and unbelieving. But as other contributors to this volume. facilitated the analogy to ancient Israel that often recurs in the official American rhetoric of the early days. which. it is not so clear in what this greater secularity consists of. often inspired by Kant. This is often attributed to the fact that it is so much more “secular.8 Today’s confusion arises from the fact that there is both continuity and discontinuity. that order is grounded in nature alone. or in some concept of civilization. however. for many though by no means for all. followed by decolonization and the construction of multi-national Europe in the second half. whereas others. The rift.12 Religion in the New Europe Independence. What the activism of the American Revolutionaries added to this was a view of history as the theatre in which this Design was to be progressively realized. What continues is the importance of some form of the modern idea of moral order. along with the Biblical culture of Protestant America. have shown. derives from the fact that what makes this order the right one is. Hence the contemporary American “culture wars. So that some Americans want to rescue the Constitution from God. insisting that they are at the forefront of human progress and have a duty to spread it. for both Deists and Theists. Europe at the moment seems free of this kind of deep inner conflict. IntraEuropean butchery in the first half of the 20th century. or even in supposedly unchallengeable a priori principles.” It was this notion of themselves as fulfilling Divine purposes. was grounded in their being part of a Providential Design. notably Danièle Hervieu-Léger and David Martin. Lincoln later referred to that society as “the last best hope on earth. with deeper historical roots. see this as doing violence to it.” The rightness of these laws. have ended up creating ambivalent and conflicted feelings around assertions of national identity in “old” . and of their own society as the place where this realization was to be consummated.” their own version of Kulturkampf.

and how much we rely on different partisan readings of it. A minority of people are drawn back to religion in their quest to reconnect. precisely in its ambivalent status as both a source of universal values and a marker of historic identity. This arises. for example. both here and in their other writings. The point is that American political identity is viewed as something of immense significance. family form. feed on one another. whereas Europeans—even the French. and so on) that they have created an understandable counter-demand to revivify memory and reconnect with deeper historical roots. for example. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways in which religion can once again become a source of conflict. for example. Evoking these values cannot be avoided in any case. in the search for “European values.9 but many more can be led to a kind of non-theological. we are forced to face how conflicted this past is. and need to be connected to a deep past. But whatever one’s present beliefs and one’s stance towards the church. Europe’s roots are Christian and there is no way of getting around it..Religion and European Integration 13 Europe. and the consequent “quarantine” of Austria. These same assertions are very often seen just as senility or failure of nerve in Bush’s America.” which inevitably came to the fore. human rights as the fruit of Christianity versus human rights as won in heroic struggle against the reactionary obscurantism of the Church. As both Martin and Hervieu-Léger have pointed out. Once European values need to be defined. e. intersect with certain present-day debates. during recent attempts to draft a European constitution. which can. This arises in two ways. non-cultic historical identification with their Christian past. the rise of individualism and a culture of authenticity have helped erode so much of the continuity with older forms of life (in community structure. attitudes toward homosexuality and homo- . moreover. then. with long history of this sort of thing—have trouble motivating themselves to carry on the struggle. as we saw with the mini-crisis around the Austrian coalition government of 2001. involving. worth fighting over between people of different philosophical views.g. The first is the attempt I have just mentioned to recover our deepest roots. both potential sources of conflict. These conflicts.

It is both the case that churches are deeply divided on these issues (for example. the List Pim Fortuyn benefited from a widespread feeling in the Netherlands that many Muslims were flouting certain basic principles of the society. we find many Europeans becoming conscious of their roots in Christendom.” and. Faced with growing Muslim populations. whereas the same hasn’t occurred in the Muslim world. The second context in which the reconnection with deeper roots occurs is the multicultural. These are mainly Muslim. those of gender equality in particular. correct. i. in part through internal change. and also that this bundle of questions will be a renewed source of division between churches and their critics. with far less bad faith. often is presented as a defense of the European. and the attendant revisions of sexual morality. which from a liberal point of view seems the very paradigm of privileging one particular historical identity over another. in part through immigration. Thus Le Pen can invoke the principles of the French Constitution and “laïcité. and will be the source of continuing conflicts. This entire understanding is being deeply challenged as a consequence of the cultural revolution of authenticity. the Anglican Church today). Coping with this has been deeply unsettling in all Western countries. version of universal values. Even those who take the dimmest view of the Churches’ role in the development of human rights and democracy can reflect that Christendom has at least wrestled the reactionary forces of religion into a relatively submissive posture. but there is a steady diversification of religious (including anti-religious) belonging in Europe. . more or less acute as one shifts from country to country.14 Religion in the New Europe sexual marriage or unions. Here too the ambivalent status of religion plays an important role in the conflict. that came to a head in the last third of the 20th century.e. Europe’s Christian roots begin to stand out when there are sizeable populations that don’t share them. Anti-Muslim sentiment. A conception of marriage developed in Latin Christendom involves an interweaving of theological understanding with ideas of the “natural”—a point at which even the religious opponents of gay marriage today will appeal as much to natural law as to the revealed tradition.

They all have a strong “ancestral” quality. Or. These are particularly difficult because they run against the grain of virtually all early political identities that emerged in the era of democratic revolutions. are components of political identity. From another point of view. have been forcing all Western societies more and more into efforts of political identity-reconstruction. we cannot merely shunt them into the private sphere without risking a severe loss of legitimacy among them. as in Britain and Scandinavia). for many people. whereas. We need a new understanding of what binds us together in the particular historical project that seeks to realize democracy and human rights. as well as the cultural revolutions invoked above. and difficult to solve. The separation of church and state makes the state effectively non-confessional (even where an Established Church theoretically remains. The ur-move of this kind was triggered by the struggle between different confessions.”10 If the basic point of the founding of this . the conflicts are exacerbated. they see political identity as being settled once and for all at the founding.Religion and European Integration 15 III In all these cases. we can only do this if we at the same time bring about a redefinition of our political identity that permits them to fall outside it. But when we are dealing with what. This is particularly evident in states founded on what Gellner defines as the principle of nationalism: “which holds that the political and national unit should be congruent. that is. the reflex of liberal society has always been to remove these issues from the public sphere. on the other hand. The growing diversification of our populations. the dilemma can be posed like this: faced with differences in religious and philosophical outlook. and relegate them to the private. rather. so that people of all different allegiances can meet on neutral ground in the public sphere. as sources of conflict they are by definition already alienating others. that is. On one hand. departing from them risks generating a profound sense of alienation from society among important parts of the population. or in historical identity. because they connect to political identity. to the values and reference points we must share in order to have a viable democratic society.

because. This is the confusion between the particular political principles on which our state is grounded. on one hand. But it can in fact be a problem. one is defending THE separation of church and state. then there can be no harm in sticking to ancestralism through thick and thin. on the other. we differ about the “comprehensive conceptions of the good” by which we justify them. The first pertains to the complexity I noted above in the idea of Verfassungspatriotismus: universal values are incarnated in a particular historical and institutional project. So we tend . The second problem with ancestralism comes from another elision. for two reasons. One might think ancestralism would pose no problem here.16 Religion in the New Europe political unit was to provide self-determination for the X people. just as people easily confuse principles and their particular institutional and legal expression. they also easily elide certain institutionalized principles. which the later work of Rawls has strongly brought to our attention. After all. and the deeper ethical vision of human life by which we justify those principles. To use Rawls’ language. and to believe that in defending one’s particular form of “laïcité. In fact. There is a problematic elision here. In fact. in places such as Israel and India. We see this fundamental principle at work today. what provides these principles with their hold on us is that they are anchored in deep convictions. as well as the problems it gives rise to. like judicially retrievable human rights. But it is all to easy for each society to elide the particular into the general. founded on certain supposedly simple constitutional principles. and the deep philosophical reasons for which they have been espoused in our society.” for instance. we see that very much the same values have been expressed by quite different régimes. But a similar difficulty can arise in nations like France or the USA. we can imagine a régime in which we can concur on those political principles— and without that our polity couldn’t function—but in which we differ greatly as to the ultimate reasons for supporting them. as Rawls argues. If the original purpose of the founding was to realize certain crucial universal values. then that clearly should be an unrevisable feature of X-land’s political identity. as we look around the liberal democratic world.

and to that extent was acceptable to other religious minorities in the past (Protestants. but that it is less and less adapted to the present level and type of (recognized) diversity of its population.” which was designed to keep the Catholic church in its place. whether through migration or internal pluralization.11 A situation in which we separate the two levels. A liberal democratic society. For Westerners. support of human rights and the belief in such a doctrine are often seen as indissolubly linked.” We can thus see three ways in which ancestralism may fail to deal with the growing diversity of modern societies. A society defined as the expression of a certain nation “finds” that it includes more than one entity deserving of this name. Jews). and live together in a political identity defined by the principles. while recognizing that we cannot share the underlying justifications. What was originally an indissoluble package of principles and deep rea- . these have been supported in the West by a generally individualist doctrine of the dignity of human agency. 2. under the conditions of modernity. This can come about not only through migration. There are alternative justifications for an institutional régime of justiciable rights that begin from other bases entirely. more and more suppressed or ignored minorities have come to demand recognition. originally united as to the deeper reasons underlying its political principles. Can the institutions and practices of French “laïcité. meet the challenge of integrating sizeable self-consciously Muslim populations? 3. finds that this may have been well-designed to suit its original situation. A liberal-democratic society. And yet a little reflection tells us that this needn’t be so. such as in the case of ahimsa for certain Buddhists. is designated by Rawls an “overlapping consensus. 1. has now become philosophically/theologically/metaphysically more diverse.Religion and European Integration 17 to believe that those who don’t share the deep convictions cannot really support the political principles. but also (much more commonly) because. living under a certain institutional–legal expression of its fundamental principles. In the particular case of human rights.

American devotees of the “Wall of Separation”). or to remove the Ten Commandments from the façade of an Alabama courthouse. tend to arouse fierce passions. but find it very difficult to apply it in the atmosphere of cultural warfare.18 Religion in the New Europe sons is now no longer seen as supported by everyone. Supporters of the ancestrally-defined institutional forms in (2) often cling to them with an emotion which is as powerful as it is ambivalent and confused. Members of the hegemonic nation in (1) are often dismayed at the loss of status involved in conceding a description of their society as multinational (English Canadians. the original set of deep reasons can be seen as cosubstantial with the principles themselves. Hence. ethnic Turks in Turkey). they often are ready to go to any lengths to deny the very existence of diversity. and all are fraught with difficulty. but did not challenge the civil religion that saw American history in a providential light. the demand to remove “under God” from the pledge of allegiance. American secular liberals invented the (extremely fruitful) idea of an overlapping consensus. amenable to creative fudging and accommodation. equidistant from the state. I think the latter is one of the factors underlying the virulence of the American Kulturkampf. Singhalese in Sri Lanka. And in (3). There is a later “secular liberal” reading which views any recognition of the theist or deist providential perspective as an infringement on the separation. meaning that what would elsewhere be seen as trivial issues. . Both sides identify their conception with the principle itself. The political identity becomes a source of conflict. There was an early reading of the doctrine of separation of church and state that put all churches or denominations on an equal footing. eliding as it does a belief in universal principles with a powerful attachment to “our” way of expressing them (many French supporters of laïcité. All these call for the kind of reconstruction of political identity that I described above.

undeterred by the fear of earlier times that conceding difference must lead to break-up (a fear that actually may make such breakups more likely in the long run). New and important developments may be in the works. or moving towards federation.Religion and European Integration 19 IV If we think of Europe in relation to these three axes of elision. public discussion and exchange still mainly takes place within each nation’s media. some states were already federal. sluggish and late development of what could be called a European public sphere. Of course. and therefore of identity reconstruction. We are just on the verge of a new stage of European integration. but the devolution of power in the UK and Spain is a sign of the willingness to give certain historic regions their space. and the organizations focused on dealing with an individual European state. and some of the deeper problems arising from religious diversity are beginning to be more acutely felt. Europe as a desirable political destination for a number of states in the East has led to those states considerably improving their performance regarding the treatment of minorities. creating its own way of being Muslim outside the Dar-ulIslam and coming to cherish this as something more than an unavoidable pis-aller. but that this partial passing of sovereignty seems to have liberated many of its Member States from their obsessions with the unitary nation. bridging both the relatively closed communities of different national provenance. As to (2). The slow formation of a European Muslim identity. in spite of the great diversity of institutional forms in which basic democratic liberal values are expressed on the Continent. It is not just that Europe must see itself as multi-national. Moreover. we might say the following: As to (1). Thus many have felt for some time that it would be important for pan-European expressions of Islam to develop. This seems to be connected with the slow. it might seem on the surface that European integration has done little to put those forms into question in their respective home societies.12 But appearances may tend to deceive. Europe is way ahead of the rest of the world. would do something for integration and .

All of which means that the state cannot simply endorse even the supposedly more “inclusive” one.20 Religion in the New Europe mutual understanding that could not be accomplished as effectively on any national stage. This is thought to be the essence of marriage. The long quarrel over whether Christian values or those of the Enlightenment are foun- . Another such shake-up comes from the fact that some of the problems in reaching a consensus on international human rights are now being reproduced within our Western democracies. and that people espousing different models need to live together. who are seeking exactly this kind of public recognition in marriage—to swallow. One of the consequences of plural foundations is that very different interpretations of principles are often held in common. On one hand stands the supposedly “natural” and traditional Christian understanding of the family. But the future certainly holds some shake-ups. just as immigration increasingly diversifies us. But we should also realize that this removal of state endorsement is a very bitter pill for many— including many same-sex couples. as uniting a man and woman for the purpose of procreation. One of the latter has been the belief that society should provide favorable conditions for family life. But the growing disparity between our conceptions of human good and sexual fulfillment have meant that the family. We are perhaps not handling this very well in many Western countries today. As to (3). recognition of which has been denied in a discriminatory fashion to same-sex couples. we are just at the beginning of the process. and sexual life are all sites of contestation. the couple. although they may also have children. We would do better to recognize that there are different ethicallycharged models of sexual existence (and more than the above two). on the other hand stands a conception of the erotically bound couple. as there have been hundreds in human history. The fact of plural foundations (as far as I can see from my extraEuropean vantage point. which may have missed important features of the debate) hasn’t greatly impinged on the debate concerning European values. essentially concerned with their relationship. that is claimed to be normative for everyone.

e.” This last term is the key one. because what gives this body its personality is a “volonté générale. Religion und Gewalt in der modernen Welt. 347–64..” that is. Turkey. and the Young Turk attempt at an Ottoman citizenship foundered. Austria. For many outsiders like myself.g. 1963. pp. who laid bare very early the logic of this idea. 1996. 1995. 21–37. it is perfectly possible that the democratic challenge to a multi-national authoritarian régime.” in Mikhaël Elbaz.” But in fact. in spite of all the difficulties. a strong collective agency. as we grope along these axes. setbacks and seeming impasses.Religion and European Integration 21 dational for our society is about to be broken into by other voices. In its finest moments. 6 See Will Kymlicka. son moi commun. we sense. 4 Rousseau. Book I.” Contrat Social. and made way for a fierce Turkish nationalism. the drive to democracy took a predominately “national” form. attempts at this usually fail. this is why we follow the attempts of Europe to widen its boundaries even beyond the borders of former Christendom with fascination and excitement. I have discussed this at greater length in “Les Sources de l’identité moderne. Notes See Childhood and Society. Norton. So the Czechs declined being part of a democratized Empire in the Paulskirche in 1848. sa vie et sa volonté. and Guy Laforest. This might decisively and irreversibly transform the debate. SainteFoy. Oxford University Press. 5 I have discussed this at greater length in “Glaube und Identität.” in: Transit 19 (1998/99). it has to be an “association. Les Frontières de l’Identité: Modernité et postmodernisme au Québec. Multicultural Citizenship. should take the form of a multi-national citizenship in a pan-imperial “people. New York. chapter 6. Presses de l’Université Laval. saw that a democratic sovereign couldn’t just be an “aggregation. But there is also something in its favor. 2 1 . eds. pp. that we may be creating societies with an unprecedented degree of openness and inclusion. 3 And in fact. Europe is blazing a trail for all of us.” as with our lecture audience above. Our hope lies in the fact that we know. that this profoundly human prospect motivates millions of Europeans as well.. Andrée Fortin. a “corps moral et collectif” with “son unité. I have emphasized throughout how this reconstruction of our political identities along these three axes can be painful and difficult. and the peoples take their own road into freedom. Logically.

and the Public Sphere. 1992. . Le pélerin et le converti. See Robert Bellah “Civil Religion in America. Baltimore. Yale University Press. 10 Ernest Gellner. eds. Britons. Cambridge University Press.” in Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditional World. 1983. Identity. 1970. New York. Nations and Nationalism.” in Joanne Bauer & Daniel Bell. Harper & Row. 1. “The Democratic Integration of Europe: Interests. 2004. 12 See Craig Calhoun. The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights. 9 See Hervieu-Léger.22 7 8 Religion in the New Europe See Linda Colley. Europe without Borders: Remapping Territory. 1999. chapter 9. Cornell University Press. 124–44.. Citizenship and Identity in a Transnational Age.” in: Mabel Berezin & Martin Schain (eds. pp.). 11 I have discussed these issues at greater length in “Conditions of an unforced consensus on human rights. p.

At the same time.JOSÉ CASANOVA Religion.’2 At the same time. however.” . secularization of Europe is an undeniable social fact. It is the interrelation between these phenomena that I would like to explore in this paper.1 An increasing majority of the European population has ceased participating in traditional religious practices. still identify themselves as “Christian. though highly uneven. drastic and seemingly irreversible process of secularization. Western European societies have undergone a rapid. at least on a regular basis. one should perhaps talk of the “unchurching” of the European population and of religious individualization. are the potential integration of Turkey and the potential integration of non-European immigrants. who in most European countries happen to be overwhelmingly Muslim. which are rarely confronted openly. In this respect. Grace Davie has characterized this general European situation as ‘believing without belonging. large numbers of Europeans. the eastward expansion of the European Union and the drafting of a European constitution have triggered fundamental questions concerning European identity and the role of Christianity in that identity. while still maintaining relatively high levels of individual religious belief. The progressive. rather than secularization. one can talk of the emergence of a post-Christian Europe. What constitutes “Europe”? How and where should one draw its external territorial and internal cultural boundaries? The most controversial and anxiety-producing issues. even in the most secular countries. European Secular Identities and European Integration Since the signing of the Treaty of Rome establishing the EEC and initiating the ongoing process of European integration in 1957. the process of European integration. In this respect.

in the text of the new European constitution.4 It suffices to state here that throughout the Communist era Polish Catholicism went through an extraordinary revival at the very same time that Western European societies were undergoing a drastic process of secularization. and the place of God. diffused and submerged Christian cultural identity. and therefore accompanied by a “secularist” self-understanding that interprets that decline as “normal” and “progressive. In a previous article I examined the convoluted historical patterns of convergence and divergence in Polish and Western European religious developments. but the fact that it is interpreted through the lense of the secularization paradigm. or the Christian heritage. the incorporation of Turkey. I would like to explore some of the ways in which religion has become a perplexing issue in the constitution of “Europe” by way of a review of four ongoing debates: the role of Catholic Poland. that paradoxically turns “religion” and the barely submerged Christian European identity into thorny and perplexing issues when it comes to delimiting the external geographic boundaries and defining the internal cultural identity of a European Union in the process of being constituted. . Danièle Hervieu-Léger is also correct when she offers the reverse characterization of the European situation as “belonging without believing. The most interesting issue sociologically is not the fact of progressive religious decline among the European population. In this sense.”3 Among most Europeans.” It is therefore seen as a quasi-normative consequence of being a “modern” and “enlightened” European. “secular” and “Christian” cultural identities are intertwined in complex and rarely verbalized modes. Catholic Poland in post-Christian Europe: secular normalization or great apostolic assignment? The fact that Catholic Poland is “re-joining Europe” at a time when Western Europe is forsaking its Christian civilizational identity has produced a perplexing situation for Catholic Poles and secular Europeans alike. It is this “secular” identity.24 Religion in the New Europe pointing to an implicit. the integration of non-European immigrants. shared by European elites and ordinary people alike.

such a message has found resonance in the tradition of Polish messianism. nevertheless. one of the aims of the “Euroenthusiasts. since the basic premise of the secularization paradigm—that the more modern a society the more secular it becomes—seems to be an assumption also widely taken for granted in Poland.Religion. the leadership of the Polish church.” While this may sound preposterous to Western European ears. though no less arduous. such an evangelistic effort has little chance of success. Exhorted by the Polish Pope. Let Polonia simper fidelis keep faith with its Catholic identity and tradition while succeeding in its integration into Europe. Barring a radical change in the European secular Zeitgeist. the integralist sectors of Polish Catholicism have adopted a negative attitude towards European integration. thus becoming a “normal” European country. if feasible. The at best lukewarm. apostolic assignment could perhaps have equally remarkable effects. is one of the goals of European integration. the supply of surplus Polish pastoral resources for a European-wide evangelizing effort is unlikely to prove effective. has embraced European integration as a great apostolic assignment. if not outright hostile. I’ve suggested that a less ambitious. by contrast. social and cultural development. European Secular Identities and European Integration 25 The reintegration of Catholic Poland into secular Europe can therefore be viewed as “a difficult challenge” and/or as “a great apostolic assignment. Given the loss of demand for religion in Western Europe. Since modernization. could suggest that the decline of religion in Europe might not be a teleological process . most observers tend to anticipate that such modernization will lead to secularization also in Poland. however.” Anticipating the threat of secularization. Such an outcome. European response to John Paul II’s renewed calls for a European Christian revival point to the difficulties of the assignment. putting an end to Polish religious “exceptionalism. Let Poland itself prove the secularization thesis wrong. economic. has enthusiastically accepted the papal apostolic assignment and repeatedly stressed that one of its goals upon Poland’s rejoining Europe is “to restore Europe for Christianity.” The Polish Episcopate. after all. in the sense of catching up with European levels of political. The anxieties of the “europhobes” would seem to be fully justified.” Poland’s becoming at last a “normal” and “unexceptional” European country is.

the Marshall Plan. Indeed. That same July. Turkey has been patiently knocking on the door of the European club since 1959. who had been at war or preparing for war from 1870 to 1945.26 Religion in the New Europe necessarily linked with modernization. But they are of the kind that cannot be easily verbalized. Christian and post-Christian alike. at least not publicly. but rather a historical choice Europeans have made. The Cold War. or. ruling or prominent Christian Democrats in all six countries played leading roles in the initial process of European integration. only to be politely told to keep waiting. while watching latecomer after latecomer invited first. the other Western European countries formed EFTA . were the first two countries to apply for association with the EEC. Italy and West Germany) and its expansion into the European Economic Community (EEC) or “common market” in 1957 was predicated on two historic reconciliations: the reconciliation between France and Germany. such a provocative scenario is merely meant to break the spell secularism holds over the European mind and the social sciences. Greece in June 1959 and Turkey in July 1959. which is the torn country? While the threat of a Polish Christian crusade awakens little fear among secular Europeans confident of their ability to assimilate Catholic Poland on their own terms. Could a democratic Muslim Turkey ever join the European Christian club. A modern religious Poland could perhaps force secular Europeans to rethink their secularist assumptions and realize that it is not so much Poland that is out of sync with modern trends. NATO. The formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951 by the six founding members (Benelux. the prospect of Turkey joining the European Union generates far greater anxieties among Europeans. Granted. France. and the reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics within Christian Democracy. in successive waves of accession. hostile enemies yet nonetheless both members of NATO. but rather secular Europe that is out of sync with the rest of the world. and the newly established Washington–Rome Axis formed the geopolitical context for both reconciliations.

” “Orthodox” Romania and Bulgaria are supposedly next in line. of Catholic and Protestant Europe. with it. and was told once again to go back to the end of the waiting line. will be now reunited in the new Europe. In 2004 ten new members. officially no longer “Islamic” government had unambiguously reiterated the position of all previous Turkish “secularist” administrations. Both joined in 1986. But even after Greece and Turkey entered into a quasi-détente and Greece expressed its readiness to sponsor Turkey’s admission in exchange for the admission of the entire island of Cyprus. if not yet formal. but without a clear timetable. Greece. The first open. had already gained admission in 1981 and. Practically all the territories of Medieval Christendom.” secularist and . the United Kingdom and Denmark formally applied for admission in 1961. but only joined in 1973. Turkey’s “publics. Ireland. Turkey once again did not receive an unambiguous answer. are set to join the European Union. was the real issue rather than the extent to which Turkey was ready to meet the same stringent economic and political conditions as the other new members. European Secular Identities and European Integration 27 as an alternative economic association. eight ex-Communist countries plus Malta and Cyprus. that the EEC always made clear that candidates for admission would have to meet stringent economic and political conditions. The fall of the Berlin Wall once again rearranged the priorities and the direction of European integration eastward. Only Catholic Croatia and “neutral” Switzerland will be left out. but were given clear conditions and definite timetables once their democracies seemed on the road to consolidation.Religion. discussions of Turkey’s candidacy during the 2002 Copenhagen summit touched a raw nerve among all kinds of European “publics.” The widespread debate revealed how much “Islam. Even less clear is the matter of if and when the negotiations for Turkey’s admission will begin in earnest. There could be no doubt neither as to Turkey’s eagerness to join nor her willingness to meet the conditions. now that the new. Spain and Portugal were unambiguously rebuffed so long as they had authoritarian regimes. Only Franco’s Spain was left out of all these initial Western European associations and alliances. Granted. that is. de facto veto power over Turkey’s admission. meanwhile.” with all its distorted representations as “the other” of Western civilization. while “Orthodox” Greece as well as Greek and Turkish Cyprus will be the only religious “others.

Ultimately. and . The “six arrows” of Kemalism (republicanism. populism. showing that. party in power has been repeatedly accused of being “fundamentalist.” Turkey was no longer a “torn country.28 Religion in the New Europe Muslim alike. religion and ethnicity being forms of identity not allowed public representation in secular Turkey. and reformism) could not lead towards a workable representative democracy. A wide consensus had seemingly been reached among the Turkish population. But Muslim Democracy is as possible and viable today in Turkey as Christian Democracy was half a century ago in Western Europe. on the issue of joining Europe and thus “the West. the public has to be at least willing to acquiesce in the redefinition of identity. The still Muslim. at least on Kemalist secularist terms. in most cases the West. One wonders whether democracy does not become an impossible “game” when potential majorities are not allowed to win elections. joining the European Union is realizable today for the first time. the political and economic elite of the country has to be generally supportive of and enthusiastic about this move. nationalism. truly representative of its ordinary Muslim population. even if it is founded on modern secular republican principles. But the possibility of a Turkish democratic state. the project of constructing such a nation-state from above was bound to fail because it was too secular for the Islamists. A Turkish state in which the collective identities and interests of those groups constituting the overwhelming majority of the population cannot find public representation cannot be a truly representative democracy.” and of undermining the sacred secularist principles of the Kemalist constitution banning “religious” as well as “ethnic” parties. Second.” The dream of Kemal “Father of the Turks” of begetting a modern Western secular republican Turkish nation-state modeled after French republican laïcité has proven not easily attainable. statism. have to be willing to embrace the convert. secularism.” Two of the three requirements laid down by Samuel Huntington for a torn country to successfully redefine its civilizational identity had clearly been met: “First.”5 It was the satisfaction of the third requirement that was apparently missing: “the dominant elements in the host civilization. had spoken in unison. The new government was certainly the most representative democratic government in all Turkey’s modern history. and too Turkish for the Kurds. too Sunni for the Alevis. but officially no longer Islamist.

Practically every continental European country has had religious parties at one time or another. or “secularists. who the real “fundamentalists” here are: “Muslims. political democracy and inclusive multiculturalism. yet inexpressible and anxiety-ridden. particularly the Catholic ones. One wonders. Europe’s refusal to accept Turkey thus far is mainly based on Turkey’s deficient record of human rights. European Secular Identities and European Integration 29 when secular civilian politicians ask the military to come to the rescue of democracy by banning those potential majorities which threaten their secular identity and their power. many of them second generation immigrants. . But there are not-too-subtle indications that an outwardly secular Europe is still too Christian when it comes to the possibility of imagining a Muslim country as part of the European community. had dubious democratic credentials until the negative experience of Fascism turned them into Christian Democrats. unable to answer the question of whether European unity. The specter of millions of Turkish citizens.Religion. of course. European liberal secular elites could not share the Pope’s definition of European civilization as essentially Christian. and therefore its external and internal boundaries.” who view the Muslim veil worn by a duly elected parliamentary representative as a threat to Turkish democracy and a blasphemous affront against the secularist principles of the Kemalist state? Could the European Union accept the public representation of Islam within its boundaries? Can “secular” Europe admit “Muslim” democratic Turkey? Officially. should be defined by the common heritage of Christianity and Western civilization. Many of them. But they also could not verbalize the unspoken “cultural” requirements that make Turkey’s integration into Europe such a difficult issue. The widespread public debate in Europe over Turkey’s admission showed that Europe was actually the torn country.” who want to gain public recognition of their identity and demand the right to mobilize in order to advance their ideal and material interests while respecting the democratic rules of the game. One wonders whether Turkey represents a threat to Western civilization or simply an unwelcome reminder of a barely submerged. it may be difficult for them to appreciate the rules and acquire a democratic habitus. Unless people are allowed to play the game fairly. deeply divided over its cultural identity. or by its modern secular values of liberalism. already in Europe but not of Europe. Publicly. universal human rights. “white” European Christian identity.

irrespective of their legal status. at least on the local level. European colonists and colonizers. citizens. missionaries. at approximately 10 per cent. it is estimated that around 85 million Europeans emigrated to the Americas. or are they to remain “strangers”? Can the European Union open up new conditions for the kind of multiculturalism that its constituent national societies find so difficult to accept? Can the European Union welcome and integrate the immigrant “other”? Comparative perspectives from the American experience of immigration Throughout the modern era Western European societies have been immigrant-sending countries. the flow of migration has reversed and many Western European societies have instead become centers of global immigration. But it is in the different ways in which they try to accommodate and regulate immigrant reli- . however. entrepreneurs and colonial administrators settled all the corners of the globe. They may even gain voting rights. “Guest workers” can be successfully incorporated economically. Holland. During the age of industrialization from the 1800s to the 1920s. During the colonial phase. Southern Africa. France. and prove to be model. Although the proportion of foreign immigrants in many European countries (the United Kingdom. reveals some characteristic differences with the contemporary Western European immigration experience. But can they pass the unwritten rules of cultural European membership. the paradigmatic immigrant society (despite the fact that from the late 1920s to the late 1960s it too became relatively closed to immigration). or in viewing the native second generation as nationals. most of these countries still have difficulty viewing themselves as permanent immigrant societies. Australia and Oceania. is similar to the proportion of foreign born nationals in the United States. and West Germany before reunification). A comparison with the United States. 60 per cent of them to the United States alone. or at least ordinary.30 Religion in the New Europe caught between an old country they have left behind and European host societies unable or unwilling to fully assimilate them. In the last decades. indeed the world’s primary immigrantsending region. only makes the problem the more visible.

even traditionally liberal and tolerant Holland is expressing second thoughts. interlocutor to the state. and serve as. following its traditional pattern of pillarization. But the internal divisions among immigrants from Turkey. not only from the United States. immigration and Islam are almost synonymous. Lately. etc. there are two fundamental differences with the situation in the United States. following the multi-establishment model. and seems ready to pass more restrictive legislation setting clear limits to the kinds of un-European. has tried to organize a quasi-official Islamic institution. un-modern norms and habits it is prepared to tolerate. with little direct appeal to the central government. while at the same time pressuring religious groups to organize themselves into a single centralized churchlike institutional structure that can be regulated by. European societies have markedly different institutional and legal structures regarding religious associations. particularly Islam. first of all. . diet. and also diverse norms concerning when and where one may publicly express religious beliefs and practices. European Secular Identities and European Integration 31 gions. France’s étatist secularist model and the political culture of laïcité require the strict privatization of religion. but also from each other. like the United States. Germany. seemed. Great Britain. tend to replicate their particular model of separation of church and state and the patterns of regulating their own religious minorities. however. state regulation and state aid to religious groups. who deal directly with local authorities and school boards to press for changes in religious education.Religion. at times in conjunction with parallel strivings on the part of the Turkish state to regulate its diaspora. If one looks at the European Union as a whole. thus following the traditional model of the concordat with the Catholic Church. European countries. eliminating it from any public forum. as well as the public expression and mobilization of competing identities (secular and Muslim. bent on establishing a separate state-regulated but self-organized Muslim pillar. Holland. at least until very recently. highly diverse policies of state recognition. Alevi and Kurd) in the German democratic context. In Europe. by contrast. have undermined any project of institutionalization from above. however. allows greater freedom to religious associations. In their dealing with immigrant religions.. while maintaining the established Church of England. that European societies distinguish themselves.

a figure that is actually likely to decrease given the strict restrictions on Arab and Muslim immigration imposed after September 11 by the increasingly repressive American security state. and the socio-economic de-privileged “other” all tend to coincide.. much more complex and diverse than anything one finds in Europe.g. with African-American Muslims.6 Available estimates range widely between 2. they tolerate and respect individual religious freedom. Western European societies are deeply secular societies. with non-Muslim immigrants from the same regions of origin. This entails a superimposition of different dimensions of “otherness” that exacerbates issues of boundaries. the religious. on the other hand. shaped by the hegemonic knowledge regime of secularism. Since the US Census Bureau. Muslim immigrant communities in the United States are extremely diverse in terms of their origins from all over the Muslim world. As liberal democratic societies. The second main difference has to do with the role of religion and religious group identities in public life and in the organization of civil society. the racial. This identification appears even more pronounced in those cases where the majority of Muslim immigrants tend to come predominantly from a single region. and with their immediate American hosts are. accommodation and incorporation. Furthermore. As a result. e. the Immigration and Naturalization Service. the UK being the main exception. the Ma’ghreb in the case of France. In the United States. making the characterization of Islam as a foreign. the dynamics of interaction with other Muslim immigrants. Turkey in the case of Germany. are Muslims.32 Religion in the New Europe The overwhelming majority of immigrants in most European countries. and other government agencies are not allowed to gather information on religion. and the overwhelming majority of Western European Muslims are immigrants. Internal differences notwithstanding. But due to the increasing . it is estimated that from 30 to 42 percent of all Muslims in the United States are African-American converts to Islam. Moreover. Muslims constitute at most 10 percent of all new immigrants. The immigrant. un-American religion even more difficult. there are no reliable estimates on the number of Muslims in the United States.8 million and 8 million. in terms of both discursive Islamic traditions and socio-economic characteristics. depending on socio-economic characteristics and residential patterns.

One should add as a corrective to this thesis.8 The thesis implies that collective religious identities have been one of the primary ways of structuring internal societal pluralism in American history. found an identifiable place in American life. European Secular Identities and European Integration 33 pressure towards the privatization of religion. that not religion alone. which is a question European societies assumed they had already solved according to the liberal secular norm of the privatization of religion.Religion. and in the organization and mobilization of collective group identities. because of their religiousness itself as the “other” of European secularity.” is still operative with the new immigrants. religion and public religious denominational identities play an important role in the process of incorporating new immigrants. but. Therefore there is a certain pressure for immigrants to conform to American religious norms. Therefore. Americans. But even more significantly.7 It is generally the case that immigrants in America tend to be more religious than they were in their home countries. those societies have much greater difficulty in offering a legitimate role for religion in public life. today as in the past. which among European societies is now taken for granted as a characteristic of the selfdefinition of modern secular society. that “not only was he expected to retain his old religion. by definition. by contrast. the temptation to identify Islam and fundamentalism becomes all the more pronounced. not only because of their religious otherness as a non-Christian and non-European religion. and not race alone. or rather his children and grandchildren. the problems posed by the incorporation of Muslim immigrants become consciously or unconsciously associated with seemingly related and vexatious issues concerning the role of religion in the public sphere. Islam. as Herberg’s study would seem to imply. are demonstrably more religious than Europeans. even more significantly. as he was not expected to retain his old language or nationality. In this context. as contemporary immigration studies tend to imply. Muslim organized collective identities and their public representations become a source of anxiety. The thesis of Will Herberg concerning the old European immigrant. but such was the shape of America that it was largely in and through religion that he. but religion and race and their complex entanglements have served to structure the . becomes the other of Western secular modernity.

Buddhism are being “Americanized” and in the process they are trans- . other world religions. A complex process of mutual accommodation is taking place. it is more reconcilable with principled equality and non-hierarchic diversity. and are the keys to “American exceptionalism. One of the obvious advantages of religious pluralism over racial pluralism is that. America is bound to become “the first new global society” made up of all world religions and civilizations. by what appears to be a common defensive reaction by most immigrant groups against ascribed racialization. Like Catholicism and Judaism before. Islam. processes that are likely to have significant repercussions for the present and future organization of American multiculturalism. Given the institutionalized acceptance of religious pluralism. The traditional model of assimilation.34 Religion in the New Europe American experience of immigrant incorporation. and therefore with genuine multiculturalism. In this respect. a new experiment in intercivilizational encounters and accommodation between all the world religions is taking place at home. the affirmation of religious identities is enhanced among the new immigrants. turning European nationals into American “ethnics. under proper constitutional institutionalization. Religion and race are once again becoming the two critical markers identifying new immigrants either as assimilable or as suspiciously “alien. religious and racial self-identifications and ascriptions represent alternative ways of organizing American multiculturalism. moreover. so pervasive in American society. Hinduism. once again. at a time when religious civilizational identities are regaining prominence at the global level. At the very same moment that political scientists like Samuel Huntington are announcing the impending clash of civilizations in global politics. we are witnessing various types of collisions and collusions between religious identity formation and racial identity formation.9 American religious pluralism is expanding and incorporating all the world religions in the same way as it previously incorporated the religions of the old immigrants. the dynamics of religious identity formation assume a double positive form in the process of immigrant incorporation.” can no longer serve as a model of assimilation now that immigration is literally worldwide.” Due to the corrosive logic of racialization.” Today. This positive affirmation is reinforced. particularly against the stigma of racial darkness. American society is entering a new phase.

This process of institutionalization of expanding religious pluralism is facilitated by the dual clause of the First Amendment which guarantees “no establishment” of religion at the state level. on the other. where an established state church is compatible with wide toleration of religious minorities and the relatively unregulated free exercise of religion. Such a nativist and usually racist attitude can be differentiated clearly from the conservative “Catholic” position. As liberal democratic systems. It is this combination of a rigidly secular state and the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion in society that distinguishes the American institutional context from the European one. the religious diasporas in America are serving as catalysts for the transformation of the old religions in their civilizational homes. xenophobic. as well as the “free exercise” of religion in civil society. paradigmatically expressed by the Cardinal of Bologna when he declared that Italy should welcome immigrants of all races and regions of the world.Religion. while. the case of England. and. precisely on the grounds that Islam is perceived as an “un-European” religion. as an individual human right. where a secularist state not only restricts and regulates the exercise of religion in society but actually imposes its republican ideology of laïcité on society. nationalist Right. but should particularly select Catholic immigrants in order to preserve the country’s Catholic identity. simply because it is a “foreign” immigrant religion. much as American Catholicism had an impact upon the transformation of world Catholicism and American Judaism has transformed world Judaism. The latter includes strict restrictions on state intervention and on the administrative regulation of the religious field. For the anti-immigrant. It is the public and collective free exercise of Islam as an immigrant religion that most European societies find difficult to tolerate. on the one extreme. including Islam. In Europe one finds. represented by Le Pen’s discourse in France and Jörg Haider’s in Austria. The stated rationales for considering Islam “un-European” vary significantly across Europe. . the case of France. and among social and political groups. European Secular Identities and European Integration 35 forming American religion. and therefore the strict separation of church and state and the genuine neutrality of the secular state. all European societies respect the private exercise of religion. the message is straightforward: Islam is unwelcome and un-assimilable.

“religion cannot be a political project. Revealingly enough. the chance to be a religion of France.” while according to the secularist principle of privatization of religion. exhorting Islam to adapt itself to the principle of secularism as all other religions of France have done before.36 Religion in the New Europe Liberal secular Europeans tend to look askance at such blatant expressions of racist bigotry and religious intolerance. “For the most recently arrived. One is not likely to hear explicitly xenophobic or anti-religious statements among liberal politicians and secular intellectuals. for the recently passed restrictive legislation prohibiting the wearing of Muslim veils and other ostensibly religious symbols in public schools as “a threat to national cohesion” may be an extreme example of illiberal secularism. secular Europeans tend to reveal the limits and prejudices of modern secularist toleration. The politically correct formulation tends to run along such lines as “we welcome each and all immigrants irrespective of race or religion as long as they are willing to respect and accept our modern liberal secular European norms. precisely in the name of protecting its liberal tolerant traditions from the threat of illiberal.” The explicit articulation of those norms may vary from country to country. including apparently among a majority of French Muslims. The controversies over the Muslim veil in so many European societies and the overwhelming support among the French citizenry. But when it comes to Islam. Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.” or whether it is likely to bring forth the opposite result of further radicalizing an already alienated and maladjusted immigrant community. secularism is a chance. in his address to the French legislature defending the banning of ostensibly religious symbols in public schools. made reference in the same breath to France as “the old land of Christianity” and to the inviolable principle of laïcité.”10 The Islamic veil and other religious signs are justifiably banned from public schools. he added.” Time will tell whether the restrictive legislation will have the intended effect of stopping the spread of “radical Islam. because “they are taking on a political meaning. I’m speaking here of Islam. The positive rationale one hears among liberals in support of . But in fact one sees similar trends of restrictive legislation directed at immigrant Muslims in liberal Holland. patriarchal customs reproduced and transmitted to the younger generation by Muslim immigrants. fundamentalist.

This was the discourse on which the assassinated liberal politician Pim Fortuyn built his electorally successful anti-immigrant platform in liberal Holland.Religion. nor is there much empirical evidence for the functionalist argument that the normative integration of modern differentiated societies requires some kind of “civil religion. liberal secular Europeans are openly stating that European societies ought not to tolerate religious behavior or cultural customs that are morally abhorrent. a campaign that is now bearing fruit in new restrictive legislation. from gender discrimination and patriarchal control. but the secularist teleological assumption. built into theories of modernization. While conservative religious persons are expected to tolerate behavior they may consider morally abhorrent such as homosexuality. namely contributing to a sense of European social integration. modern constitutions do not need transcendent references. European Secular Identities and European Integration 37 such illiberal restrictions on the free exercise of religion is usually put in terms of the desirable enforced emancipation of young girls.” In principle there are three possible ways of addressing the quarrels provoked by the wording of the Preamble to the new European Constitution. Does one need references to God or to the Christian heritage in the new European constitution or does Europe need a new secular “civil religion” based on Enlightenment principles? Strictly speaking. that one set of norms is reactionary. enhancing a common European identity. fundamentalist and anti-modern. against their expressed will if necessary. What makes the intolerant tyranny of the secular liberal majority justifiable in principle is not just the democratic principle of majority rule. But such an option would be self-defeating in so far as the main rationale and purpose of drafting a new European constitution appears to be an extra-legal one. liberal and modern. while the other is progressive. The first option would be to avoid any controversy by relinquishing altogether the very project of drafting a self-defining preamble explaining to the world the political rationale and identity of the European Union. and remedying the deficit in democratic legitimacy.11 . insofar as they are contrary to modern liberal secular European norms.

of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. under any circumstance. most importantly.38 Religion in the New Europe A second alternative would be the mere enumeration of the basic common values that constitute the European “overlapping consensus. without entering into the more controversial attempts to establish a normative foundation. It simply reiterates the already existing declarations of most national European constitutions. or trace the genealogy of those European values. and. and solidarity. But the strong rhetorical effect of this memorable phrase was predicated on the widely accepted belief in a Creator God who had endowed humans with inalienable rights. it is not quite as simple to conjure such self-evident “truths” requiring no discursive grounding. This was the option chosen by the signatories of the Declaration of American Independence when they proclaimed We Hold These Truths As SelfEvident.” it is unlikely that such a proclamation can have the desired effect of inscribing those values as uniquely. of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. particularly or poignantly “European. freedom. The 2000 Solemn Proclamation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union attempts to produce a similar effect in its opening paragraph: “Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage.” But the proclamation of those values as a basic social fact.” The final and more responsible option would be to face the difficult and polemical task of defining the political identity of the new European Union through open and public debate: Who are we? Where do we come from? What constitutes our spiritual and moral heritage and the boundaries of our collective identities? How flexible internally and how open externally should those boundaries be? This. Without explicitly addressing the thorny question of Europe’s “spiritual and moral heritage” and its disputed role in the genesis of those supposedly “universal values. could hardly have the desired effect of grounding a common European political identity. In our post-Christian and post-modern context. a belief shared by republican deists. universal values of human dignity. Establishmentarian Protestants and radical-pietist sectarians alike. as the common normative framework shared by most Europeans.” either as self-evident truths or as a social fact. the Union is founded on the indivisible. would be an enormously complex task that . equality.

European Secular Identities and European Integration 39 would entail addressing and coming to terms with the many problematic and contradictory aspects of European heritage in its intranational. To guarantee equal access to the European public sphere and undistorted communication. the European Union would need to become not only postChristian. by putting an end to the old battles over Enlightenment.12 Secondly. The purpose of my argument is not to imply that the new European constitution ought to make some reference to either some transcendent reality or to the Christian heritage. but simply to point out that the quarrels provoked by the possible incorporation of some religious referent in the constitutional text would seem to indicate that secularist assumptions turn religion into a problem. inter-European and global-colonial dimensions. the inability to openly recognize Christianity as one of the constitutive components of European cultural and political identity means that a great historical opportunity may be missed to add yet a third important historical reconciliation to the already achieved reconciliation between Protestant and Catholics. and thus preclude the possibility of dealing with religious issues in a sensible pragmatic manner. not only a critical yet honest and reflexive assessment of the Judeo-Christian heritage. or simply violates secular postulates. but also post-secular.13 . and between warring European nation-states. religion and secularism. but also the exclusion from the public sphere of a central component of the personal identity of many Europeans. I fully agree with Bronislaw Geremek that any genealogical reconstruction of the idea or the social imaginary of Europe that makes reference to Greco-Roman antiquity and the Enlightenment while erasing any memory of the role of Medieval Christendom in the very constitution of Europe as a civilization evinces either historical ignorance or repressive amnesia. But such a complex task is made all the more difficult by secularist prejudices that preclude. What this imposed silence signifies is not only the attempt to erase Christianity or any other religion from the public collective memory.Religion. Firstly. The perceived threat to secular identities and the biased overreaction to excluding any public reference to Christianity belies self-serving secularist claims that only secular neutrality can guarantee individual freedoms and cultural pluralism. but any public official reference to such a heritage on the grounds that any reference to religion could be divisive and counterproductive.

renovation and transmission of that heritage. but would also preclude a critical and reflexive self-understanding of those secular identities. the incorporation of non-European immigrants as full members of their European host societies and of the European Union.40 Religion in the New Europe Finally. the more secularist self-understandings attempt to repress this religious heritage from the collective conscience. and solidarity may not only impede the possibility of gaining a full understanding of the genesis of those values and their complex process of societal institutionalization and individual internalization. to participate in the ongoing task of definition. and that cultural matrixes rooted in particular religious traditions and related institutional arrangements still serve to shape and encode.14 The conscious and reflexive recognition of such a Christian encoding does not mean that one needs to accept the claims of the Pope or of any other ecclesiastical authority to be the sole guardians or legitimate administrators of the European Christian heritage. David Martin and Danièle Hervieu-Léger have poignantly illustrated that the religious and the secular have been inextricably linked throughout modern European history. The four issues analyzed in this paper—the integration of Catholic Poland in post-Christian Europe. the integration of Turkey into the European Union. the more it reproduces itself subconsciously and compulsively in public secular codes. and the task of writing a new European constitution that both reflects the values of the European people and at the same time allows them to become a self-constituent European demos—all are problematic issues. that the different versions of the European Enlightenment are inextricably linked with different versions of Christianity. mostly unconsciously. . the privileging of European secular identities and secularist self-understandings in the genealogical affirmation of the common European values of human dignity. But the paper has tried to show that unreflexive secular identities and secularist self-understandings turn those problematic issues into even more perplexing and seemingly intractable “religious” problems. as the case of French laic étatism shows. diverse European secular practices. freedom. native and immigrant. It only means to accept the right of every European. Ironically. equality.

” The New York Times. only citizens committed to religious beliefs are required to split up their identities.” in Transit 26 (2003/2004). Protestant-Catholic-Jew. The State of Research. 2000. as it were.” Jürgen Habermas still implies that religious believers must naturally continue to suffer disabilities in the secular public sphere. 1996.” in G. Woodhead. 3 Danièle Hervieu-Léger. and Religion in Modern Europe: A Memory Mutates. Chicago. Religion in Modern Europe at the End of the Second Millennium. “Debate Begins in France on Religion in the Schools. 2004. 11 This point was forcefully made by Dieter Grimm at his keynote address. 9 Indeed.” Transit 25 (2003). Oxford. 1978. 2003.. “The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion. P. 2003. 4 José Casanova. A General Theory of Secularization.Religion. European Secular Identities and European Integration 41 Notes Cf. 12 Bronislaw Geremek. Aldershot. New York. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.” Jürgen Habermas. Religion in Britain Since 1945: Believing without Belonging. “Integration by Constitution—Juridical and Symbolic Perspectives of the European Constitution. 2004. and Andrew Greeley. Huntington. New York. 139.” at New School University. 5 Samuel N. one of the most questionable aspects of Huntington’s thesis is his nativist anti-immigrant and anti-multi-culturalist posture in order to protect the supposedly Western civilizational purity of the United States from hybridization. David Martin. 27–8. London. “Faith and Knowledge. “Welche Werte für das neue Europa?.” at the Conference “Toward the Union of Europe—Cultural and Legal Ramifications. 2 Grace Davie. New York. February 4. eds. They are the ones who have to translate their religious beliefs into a secular language before their arguments have any chance of gaining majority support. 6 Karen Isaksen Leonard. 13 Even in his new post-secular openness to the religious “other” and in his call for the secular side to remain “sensitive to the force of articulation inherent in religious languages. Oxford 1994. Muslims in the United States. Predicting Religion.” in The Future of Human 1 . “Beyond European and American Exceptionalisms: towards a Global Perspective. “To date.” this volume. Davie. pp. March 5. 10 Elaine Sciolino. 2003. London. 8 Will Herberg. Heelas and L. p. into their public and private elements. 7 José Casanova. 1983. “Das katholische Polen im säkularisierten Europa.


Religion in the New Europe

Nature, Cambridge, 2003, p. 109. Only by holding to a teleological philosophy of history can Habermas insist that “postsecular society continues the work, for religion itself, that religion did for myth” and that this work of “translation,” or rational linguistification of the sacred, is the equivalent of “non-destructive secularization” and enlightenment. 14 See their contributions in this volume.

Judeo-Christian Heritage and Secularisation

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The question has been raised explicitly in the current debates as to whether or not the introduction of the future European Constitution should refer to transcendent matters and/or Europe’s religious heritage. it seems particularly appropriate to consider the role of religion in establishing social cohesion and creating European identity. has implications that extend far beyond the realm of religion itself. The purpose of the following discussion is to point out a few elements that may help to clarify various aspects of this question from the viewpoint of the sociology of religion. or achieving the difficult task of reconciliation necessitated by the different ways in which the religious and political domains are organized in the countries involved. The problem of religion. Secularization as a unique feature of European society The obvious starting point for any examination of the position of religion in Europe is the long-standing observation that the process of secularization is extremely advanced throughout the continent. inasmuch as it provides an opportunity to examine—under the microscope. however. in fact. is not just the simple matter of comparing divergent principles. .DANIÈLE HERVIEU-LÉGER The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion With the enlargement of the European Union on the agenda. and at a time when there is a manifest need for a “European voice” to make itself heard on the world arena. as it were—a number of issues inherent in the project of cultural European integration. and the accompanying emergence of genuine European citizenship. At the root of these debates.

the unique nature of the American experience. In general. but it is becoming clearly dissociated from the Christian vision of salvation in the world hereafter. was called into question. the level of religious observance is considerably lower in Europe than in the United States. however. it is true. did not adhere to this model of religious erosion. that religious structures seem to have weakened to the point of collapse. The general trend observed in major quantitative and comparative studies of religious belief is that belief in a personal god (with the attributes of the Judeo-Christian deity) is waning in favor of a vague belief in a “power” or “supernatural force. It is only. rather than the universal nature of the European situation. . even a condition of modernization. the only cultural area where the paradigm of secularization was genuinely applicable. but in ways that varied from country to country. the Netherlands). where churches are deserted at all times of the year other than the main religious festivals (Scandinavia. in certain countries. remains relatively low everywhere (with nonetheless significant national variations). This reversal in points of view now leads us to examine the exceptional nature of the European experience in light of the prevailing tendencies elsewhere in the world. While the number of Europeans declaring themselves convinced atheists and rejecting any belief in life after death. considerable differences between the countries of the European Union in terms of religious observance. for example. the United Kingdom. across the entire spectrum of sociological thought. When it was observed that American society. This point of view was reversed after the 1970s. France. to be an unavoidable feature of modernity itself. There are. it is still much higher than the 1% rate recorded in the United States. whose classification in the ranks of modern societies could hardly be questioned.46 Religion in the New Europe The most readily available (and most widely used) indicator of the advanced degree of secularization is the level of religious practice. when it became clear that religion was a powerful presence in public life everywhere except in Europe. Comparison with the United States is valid here because this erosion of religion in modern societies was long held. The European situation could thus be viewed as a model prefiguring the general development of advanced societies.” There is no diminution in the belief in a life after death.

the affirmation of individual autonomy. The problems of the loss of institutional religion that dominated the 1950s and 1960s were followed by an approach deregulating institutional religions. leading individuals to independently evolve personal credos that would give meaning to their existence. and. Another reading of secularization in Europe has gradually come to the fore.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 47 The first effect of the shift in attitude to the paradigm of secularization was to enable the “loss” at issue to be reassessed. the thinking was that the decline in religious practice was of itself an indicator of a parallel retreat in religious belief. religious identi- . This emphasis on the do-it-yourself approach to religious belief and practice does not mean that conventional religious traditions lost all their cultural relevance in European society. This omission meant that the need for order engendered and stimulated by that insecurity remained unidentified. and less and less “natural communities” within which individuals inherit their religious identity through generations. particularly in Europe. aspirations and frustrations engendered by the typically modern promise that individual accomplishment is available to everyone. The drawback to this description of a rationally disillusioned modern world was that it disregarded the structural insecurity into which societies driven by the imperative for change were thrust. a definitive loss of religious belief. The emphasis was switched to patterns of individualization of belief. Those traditions simply began to increasingly serve as symbolic repositories of meaning. For a long time. and the increasingly specialized nature of spheres of human activity led to the modern world’s deep-seated loss of illusion. even if its symbolism is liberated from the control of mainstream organized religion. In modern societies. interests. This school of thought acknowledged that the combination of the spread of scientific and technical rationalism. according to their own frame of mind. consequently. The proliferation of new-wave religious movements recorded at the end of the 1960s has shown that religious belief still thrives in Europe. The major religions are less and less “codes of meaning” imposed on individuals from above. The intensity (and the multifaceted nature) of different faiths is a response to the scale of the expectations. aspirations and experience. available for individuals to subjectively use and reuse in different ways.

and within which he complies with rules of religious observance set by the institution responsible for the transmission of faith. who receives his religious identity from the community to which he belongs from childhood. another expression which typifies Europeans’ attitude toward religion. which does not necessitate shared belief. The Danish citizens who do not believe in God and never attend church. illustrate how one can “belong without believing. and the French citizens who are nostalgic for the beautiful church services of their childhood and complain about mosques being built in France while never setting foot in church until “the bell tolls” for them. but who faithfully continue to pay the tax that goes to the Lutheran Church because they like to see religious buildings properly maintained. but which—even from a distance—still governs collective reflexes in terms of identity.1 These models do not merely apply to the European situation.2 Let me point out. They most closely follow the pattern of two descriptive models that I have elaborated in order to take account of contemporary patterns of faith in the modern world: the pilgrim (who follows an individual spiritual path involving a series of phases) and the convert (who chooses the religious family to which he belongs). but are the most appropriate description of the trend towards religious individualization in Europe. or merely for a short time. in passing. Individuals make their own choice of religious allegiance—often after a long spiritual journey—either for good. Europeans’ shared religious identity is nowadays expressed through the general advent of a spiritual individualism that overturns established structures for the transmission of reli- . More than any other people. In all these cases.” the European counterpart to the expansion of beliefs without belonging. This attitude entails a distant shared memory. Europeans are moving away from the model of the “practicing” believer. that this formula can be inverted to become belonging without believing.48 Religion in the New Europe ty is increasingly a matter of personal choice. The British sociologist Grace Davie’s expression believing without belonging best characterizes this state of secularization in Europe. This trend disrupts the organization of conventional forms of religious allegiance. particularly the traditional forms of involvement in religion at the parish level and the transmission of religion through the family.

religion has not disappeared: it continues to exist as a personal option and a means of individual identification. Religion’s role in determining the values of European civilization: the residual pluralism of different religious cultures If we wish. but it informs collective identity less and less and. Historically. it is not enough simply to record the objective indicators of loss (the decline in religious practice and the erosion of traditional belief patterns) and to strive to map out personal homemade symbolic systems. Europe was the place where political autonomy was affirmed (through processes that varied from nation to nation) in relation to the authority of any religious standard imposed from above. and specifically European thinking. cultural. giving rise to a set of standards governing collective life that was dictated from below. Such an approach does no more than skim the surface. broadly speaking. one can gauge the extent to which both institutions and mentalities are imbued with and shaped by religion. however. no longer provides the framework for ethical standards in the life of its citizens.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 49 gious identity.3 It is now the testing ground for the absorption of the symbolic resources of religion into contemporary individualistic culture. revealing only the visible involvement of individuals with the “major religions. Europe was the test-tube that saw religion’s exit from the stage and the invention of political sovereignty. we must dig deeper. for instance.” If we truly wish to take the measure of the presence of religion in European societies. ethical and symbolic structures that make up the framework for collective life in the societies concerned. within a Judeo-Christian cultural context: we are aware. Civilized values have developed. This subjectivization of religion is the latest stage in the long process of its gradual repression into the private domain. even in the absence of any explicit reference to the religious traditions involved in the development of the civilization’s values. At this level. and look into the political. on autonomy owes to the Jewish concept of the covenant (Brith) as the foundation for the relationship between . Even so. of what modern thinking. at least in Europe. to describe the position of religion in Europe.

concepts of the relationships between the State and the citizen. engendered political cultures. for example. It is common. themselves rooted in different Protestant structures. to draw a distinction between a “Protestant Europe” and a “Catholic Europe” within which.4 If we wish to make a more detailed analysis of the differentiated ways in which religion contributed to the development of the values of civilization in Europe. we would need to look further into relevant subdivisions within the Catholic and Protestant spheres of influence. The key point is that each European society is now characterized by its own specific religious roots. Christian tradition renders this concept twofold: universal (the Good News is for all humanity) and individual (conversion is an individual choice).50 Religion in the New Europe the deity and humans on a quasi-contractual basis (binding the fulfillment of the divine promise to the elective loyalty of the people). German and Scandinavian issues of the Enlightenment. The concept of the individual and the sovereignty deriving from it is radically different from the essentially political construction established in France due to the joint struggle against despotism and religion that came together in the revolutionary experience. Within “Protestant Europe. and perfectly justifiable. . The difference can best be illustrated with reference to the German and French experiences. and constructed through the affirmation of a religious individualism that radically challenges the foundations of authority in the Church and dispenses with the need for institutional mediation in the relationship between believer and deity. Yet this common context that lies in part behind our concept of human rights is diffracted and differentiated within different religious cultures. the construction of the modern problem of autonomy has taken different routes. the phenomenon of the Catholic encoding of culture. The German treatment of autonomy. and interpretations of sovereignty and representation that were far from homogenous. where the historic effect of secularization was particularly far-reaching and where the objective and subjective loss of religion may be specifically illustrated. The concept of the covenant is the opening page of history. predating any concept of political autonomy. the British. is born of the historical experience of the Reformation.” for example. In a country such as France.

from Scandinavia to the United Kingdom. More generally. Germany. not only the styles of political life.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 51 institutions and mentalities continues to be extraordinarily significant.5 It is impossible to appreciate the discussion of many questions in French public life which have nothing strictly to do with religion (from food quality to the ethical regulation of science. but also the practical rules of civil conduct and attitudes toward money or patterns of consumption. courts. whose direct potential for influence over society and individuals it dedicated itself to undermining. and demands for workers’ rights) without being aware of the extent to which French culture is impregnated with Catholic values. . among other things. have taken shape in historical and religious contexts which still continue to shape them. but because the symbolic structures which they shaped. the concept of citizenship or of family. this phrase highlights the two-way relationship which secular society maintains with the figure of the Roman Catholic Church. on the contrary. In all the countries of Europe. the Catholic model. the content of public debate on social and ethical issues. As Sartre maintained in Being and Nothingness. obviously. Italy or Ireland. lost that power everywhere). The fact is that the same degree of symbolic and cultural encoding is at work in all European countries. Belgium. and has continued to operate (though. Not because the religious institutions have retained any real power to set standards (they have. etc. the program of public institutions (everything from schools to hospitals. even after official belief has been lost and religious observance has declined. societal expectations of the State.) was entirely based on. universities. and attitudes toward nature and the environment. not explicitly) with reference to. the Netherlands. though it takes completely different forms. the specific style of religiosity centered around the individual. “We are all Catholic.” In particular. the management of hierarchical relationships in business. the future of rural society. the definition of State or individual responsibility. still have a remarkable capacity to influence the local culture. It is worth noting that this differentiated influence operates within a shared world shaped by a long history in which the political and the religious spheres were resulting in.

North African or Turkish origin). it also reveals the disparities in these societies’ responses to the demands for the recognition of Islam in their midst. due to both the political cultures of the host countries and the specific features of the different branches of Islamic faith involved (in these cases. the process of the homogenization of the European religious scene under the influence of secularization and. France and Germany has made Islam a force to be reckoned with in these countries. However. While it is true. The core of the phenomenon of pluralization. and. the accelerat- . on the other. which is a common bond between European countries facing the problems of reciprocal acclimatization of quite separate religious and cultural worlds. this necessitates the wholesale reassessment of the relationships between religion and culture in the societies concerned. it is also clear that the road to integrating these populations is significantly different. that the size of the Moslem populations in the United Kingdom. the problems encountered highlight and accentuate the tension between. The same dialectical tension between rapprochement and separation is at work in connection with the cultural globalization phenomena affecting Europe along with the rest of the world. obviously.52 Religion in the New Europe A disintegrating cultural matrix? The key question today. the spread of a homogenized media culture. the possibly contradictory stimulation of the various religious cultures which exist in the same European area. those of Pakistani. the long-term settlement of immigrant populations in the host countries. On the one hand. on the one hand. primarily associated with the phenomenon of immigration. clearly. is: What will be the future of this civilizational matrix shaped over a long historical period? Several sets of factors contribute to shaking a cultural foundation that is at one and the same time unified and diverse. In each instance. The different approaches to issues such as the wearing of veils in school are clear demonstration of the fact that the presence of Islam has become a fact of life that both unites and divides different European countries. specifically. At the same time. resides in the massive Islamic presence in several European countries. The first—and most visible—factor is Europe’s cultural and religious pluralization. for example.

even in Europe. Indeed. The fight to defend “cultural uniqueness” may find sustenance in the fertile soil of the religious worlds that exist side-by-side in Europe. the very dynamic of cultural homogenization provokes reactions likely to stimulate the reactivation of those same cultural specificities and allows national political and symbolic problems involving religion one might have thought obsolete to resurface. to the partial reconstitution of the various religious civilizations which exist in Europe. On the other hand. for religion. persons and ideas. the religious—individualism of European societies. there is also the possibility that it will give rise to “reactionary identities” sustaining. paradoxically. but these very different religious worlds may make something quite different of that struggle. considering the cultural upheavals with which Europe (like all democratic Western societies) is faced nowadays. Identifying (and hopefully interrelating) three major observations will perhaps help make some sense of this stage in our cultural development: . as the critical turning-point of the Enlightenment was in the eighteenth century. This is not the case with a third set of phenomena directly impacting the cultural foundation made up of these religious civilizations. though it did not preclude the transfer of a form of transcendent thinking without a reference to a deity (and the eschatological considerations that went hand-in-hand with it) into the political arena.6 That period was characterized by the elimination of the transcendent from the political sphere. the homogenization of models of consumption and the general subjection of trade—including the exchange of symbolic ideas—to the liberalized market regime are tending to erode the cultural—and.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 53 ed development of the movement of goods. in particular. we might wonder if we are not currently engaged in changes whose effects could well be as decisive in scale. as a reaction. heightened rivalries inseparably linked to religious persuasion and nationality. One feature of the phenomena of cultural pluralization and cultural globalization is that they contribute both to the erosion and. It is possible that the cultural change we are currently experiencing will shake up the symbolic framework of our societies from top to bottom. perhaps definitively displacing religion from society. the affirmation of a European culture with its own references and values. While it is conceivable that the growing hegemony of North American culture and values may engender.

of war. it is directly linked with the focusing of belief systems that is supported by surveys of Europeans’ values. or when we see that sense of safety fail. social segregation. The experience of satiety. in the real world.) and general access to this “self-evidence of safety” is still. But this is precisely because the “self-evidence of safety” (supported. but they now live without ever having to worry about having enough to eat. giving birth is no longer a life-threatening experience in Europe) and (up to a point) health. it can be accepted —or at least suggested—that the experience of satiety (not to be confused.8 Admittedly. with the personal. of a well-fed or satiated society. etc. the environment. obviously. rather than with the fact that resources are not available. has major symbolic implications. for example. with the last swine fever epidemic in Europe. urban violence. Not only have the generations reaching adulthood today never known the reality. The cases of hunger that still exist in Europe have chiefly to do with problems some underprivileged social groups have in accessing resources. the experience of insecurity has shifted to other areas (employment. This transformation also affects other areas that pose some threat to the experience of being— more or less—safe. which now typifies our societies. for the first time in human history and specifically in this economically and politically privileged arena that is Western Europe. An adequate supply of food is now a given which is not adversely affected by even large-scale animal epidemics (compared. In particular.7 This revolution of food satiety (apart from the new problems of food safety it has brought to the fore) can be perceived as a major symbolic operator. subjective experience of satisfying a desire) displays a crucial affinity with the shift of individual . As soon as it is set up as an objective that is accessible in the here and now as a normal condition of individual and collective life (which ought to be the case for everyone). entailing a radical transformation in collective and individual relationships to the world. or even the real threat. one might say.54 Religion in the New Europe The first of these observations involves the advent. unfairly distributed. in particular childbirth (except in rare cases. which caused shortages as recently as the 1950s). by the self-evident sufficiency of food resources that is its symbolic center) has become the norm to the extent that we now become indignant about new experiences of insecurity.

part of a trend not of dismissing.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 55 and collective aspirations for accomplishment demonstrated by the surveys of values. death. the turning point that came about in Europe in the years 1968–1970 was clearly crucial. business. The democratic experience.” The second observation involves the spread of democratic culture beyond the political sphere in which democracy. is expanding beyond the confines of public life to infiltrate the exercise of all relationships. university or church—is exempt from this transformation of traditional ways of exercising authority.” “balance. overturning established roles and hierarchies. as a way of organizing the exercise of sovereignty. as achieved par excellence by the desire of self-determining citizens in public debate to guide the society in which they live. however. or even with the radical or gradual transformation of society. This shift has nothing to do with some “end of history”: it is simply caused (obviously only in part. as evidenced particularly in the Jewish and Christian liturgy: the thousand-year association of the end to hunger with the fulfillment of god’s promise of a “land of milk and honey. the .” personal access to “wisdom. therefore. which is now labeled “selfrealization.” “inner peace. It is. resolves one of the central symbolic themes in all religious traditions. The latter. but a nonetheless significant part) by an increasingly clear-cut dislocation between the “fear of shortage” and the aspiration to happiness. representations of obligation and a more or less “naturally ordained” distribution of roles and tasks. worth establishing the connection between the general trend of subjectivizing utopia and what has been described here as the collective and individual experience of satiety.” One might maintain that this “subjectivization of utopia” is one of several aspects of the invasion of the expressive individualism characteristic of all modern democratic societies. the ideal of accomplishment is increasingly centered on the individual. in its direct link with matters of biological survival and. took shape. Less and less associated with the arrival of the Kingdom. In this respect. This democratic revision of “natural” roles and forms of authority obviously has the greatest impact within the family.” “fulfilling one’s potential. In Europe.” utopia. which is perceived as a radical alternative to the experience of the present. but of “subjectivizing. No institution—school.

male or paternal authority) defined as godgiven. directly—and revealingly—reflected by the reforms in family law undertaken in a number of European countries. interests and aspirations within the group.” an association of individuals on an increasingly contractual basis.” in which roles are supposed to reflect the “natural” destiny of its members.” a “will” which is. memories. This undermining of authority which has already begun in the political arena is finding further application in contemporary challenges to the assignment of men. it is suggested that the current rocking of the cultural foundation is closely connected with the changes in Europeans’ attitude to nature. stage in this grass-roots revolution in conjugal and family relationships. The very different ways in which European societies and religious institutions have adjusted to the new forms of marriage and parenthood—between the openness (despite some counter-reactions) that characterizes societies in the Protestant sphere of influence and the defensive fall-back position more typically adopted by societies in Catholic-influenced countries—help revive the divisions between civilizational values that have been broadly shaped by religious history. and most controversial. by definition. The question of homoparental families is the latest. desirable or undesirable. Such disparities are being eliminated. is inevitably gaining ascendancy over the “traditional family. that make sense within the group. . Indeed. women and children to predetermined roles in society. etc.56 Religion in the New Europe trend suggests that the “relational family. with the onset of a cultural and social revolution that is ultimately destroying the very foundation of these civilizational constructs.”9 Social cohesion is effectively determined by the choices a particular group is led to make between options it agrees to regard as superior or inferior. norms. these changes have a direct influence on the dynamics of collective production of what Charles Taylor labels “strong evaluations. In more global terms. I wish to focus on just one aspect of these changes here: their connection with the undermining of the religious justification for authority (specifically. better or worse. or in the family justified by a “natural order” which refers back explicitly or implicitly to the “will of god. intangible and passes our understanding. but also the references. however. aspirations etc. Such evaluations involve not only contending frames of mind.

—have been overturned by the discovery of the human capacity to alter processes previously thought to be immutable: with medically-assisted procreation dissolving the connection between marriage and filiation. the shared mechanisms of meaning which lay at their center). the distinction between the living and dead. All European societies are today faced with a radical revision of their attitude toward nature as the order of things that used to structure their symbolic worldviews (i. and the expansion of the cognitive sciences with all its implications for the field of information and our relationship to time and space. Nature has ceased to be an order. the development of genome science and the practical control of the living organism turning farming conditions and therapeutics upside down. the connection that has arisen in the long term between this social dynamic of the production of strong evaluations within European societies and their specific religious civilizational matrix was based on a particular way of viewing the natural order. The problem of the natural order was itself rooted in a religious worldview (clearly differentiated according to whether a Catholic or a Protestant society is involved) that survived the advance of secularization in various forms (including in legal form). shaped symbolically by different religious systems. The foundations of the religious civilizations incorporating this view of nature have been definitively shaken by the accompanying reassessment. in either sense of the word: nature is perceived less and less as a world governed by immutable. We are calling upon the symbolic resources . The topical debates on bioethics in all European countries and in Europe as a whole are a perfect illustration of this.e.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 57 One might hypothesize that. There is no need for a long list: what entire civilizations have for thousands of years considered to be imperatives inevitably imposed upon humans by the dictates of the natural world. Now. the basic human experiences most directly involved in the production of “strong evaluations”—sustenance. etc. communication. reorganized and modified. reproduction. broken down. because of prodigious advances in science and technology. to a great extent. health care. etc. eternal principles and is consequently less and less able to impose its rules on humans. are now increasingly perceived as a set of mechanisms that can be manipulated.

At the same time. the question of memory is raised obsessively. This process brings to light the eminently political nature of the generation of standards in ultramodern societies.” On the other hand. Concern for heritage. I think it worth examining—in the precise light of the cultural development that I have just described—the significance of referring to the European religious bedrock in terms of heritage.” I do not seek to disparage the symbolic and ethical potential of this heritage. modern societies. which have change as their motor and their imperative. as well as the contradictions they entail. Indeed I have endeavored to emphasize the importance of the religious civilizational matrix—both unified and diverse— in which European societies are rooted. are much more anxious about keeping the flickering “flame of memory” alive. to emphasize the ongoing process of the elimination of religion from European culture. we are discovering the extraordinary weakness of these resources in terms of delivering standards. Nonetheless. As we know. It is a given which makes its organizational power felt in all aspects of social life and is not an “issue. The predilection for commemoration is a modern and even an ultramodern one. and this discovery is seriously undermining the cultural plausibility of the codes of meaning that religions claim they still offer.58 Religion in the New Europe of the different religious traditions to deal with ethical problems raised by the scientific control of nature the like of which have never been encountered before. My first remark concerns the reference to memory that forms part of this reference to religious heritage. most specifically in societies in which there are a risk of loss of memory because of the rapid rate of change. as I have just done. is in keeping with that attitude. do not feel the need to talk about collective memory all the time. and religious heritage. even provocative. Traditional societies. From the elimination of religion from culture to new ways of exploiting “Europe’s religious heritage” It may seem paradoxical. given the prospect of a process which will instead amplify the wealth and the unifying power of Europe’s “religious heritage. which rely on memory. Religion can be considered “heritage” only because it is kept distinct .

sustained in part by reference to the religious her- . an act of conservation in a museum but rather an activity of symbolic production that contributes to the emergence of a shared worldview. classifying religion as heritage—is. For. an act of commemoration—i.e. The search for the prospect of shared meaning. it contributes crucially to the production of norms and values that we use to govern our collective lives. We should not resent or decry this application of selective memory. it also illuminates the collective cultural choices currently being made. reference to Europe’s religious heritage also entails a twofold risk. Indeed. at the same time.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 59 from and operates separately from the places where the rules of collective life are primarily decided. of wars—often bloody wars—setting groups and entire nations against each other. while it propounds irreconcilable local views. For Europe. Referring to Europe’s religious (or spiritual) heritage is not. precisely because of its nature as an active producer of shared norms. of retaining and conserving only the “pure” civilizing power it is supposed to have exerted throughout history. Quite the opposite. there is nothing anecdotal about the debate on the nature of the reference to religious heritage in the texts governing the European Union. What does Europe’s religious history first and foremost consist of? For the most part. The third comment is that. The classification of religion as heritage is supported inexorably by the erosion of the organizational power of religion in social life. From this point of view. This is my second comment. the question of how to ensure religious peace is the main issue that gave rise to the founding of the State in Europe. in that sense. The reference to religious history as heritage currently at issue is a way of assuaging the dark memory of the religious wars in Europe in favor of the convergent contribution of different religions to the creation of the (intellectual and artistic) values and works which now form a bond between Europeans. The first risk is that such a reference may itself become the focus of strategies undertaken by the major churches to regain the public prominence they are tending to lose. a way of negotiating its attitude to its own history. Treating Europe’s religious treasure as heritage is also a way of cleansing religion of its connections with the political conflicts and phenomena of social domination and violence with which it was associated.

to be an opportunity to put themselves forward as the special keepers. ethical and symbolic heritage denoted by “Europe’s religious heritage” belongs itself represents an active aspect of the ongoing construction of social cohesion in Europe. believers and non-believers. whether or not they adhere to a particular religious persuasion. however declaredly secular that country may be. as follows: “If. Protestant and Catholic. The discussions surrounding Turkey’s entry into the European Union clearly show—quite apart from the major issue of human rights—the cultural. The public debate to which the definition of the cultural. one might wonder whether the Pope’s visit to the European institutions is not part of a process of developing a civil religion for Europe. probably more alarming. Jean-Paul Willaime asked the question in explicit terms. we mean the system of beliefs and rites by means of which a social area ritualizes its collective existence and maintains collective reverence for the values which lie at the foundation of its order. Nor is the fact that there are no Orthodox countries among the signatories to the Treaty of Athens without significance. . The second risk. Christian heritage. of that heritage. legal and symbolic issues raised by opening the European house to admit an Islamic country. by civil religion. It is first of all a place where the very frontiers of the shared European area are defined. above all. is that this reference to Europe’s religious heritage. not as a way of placing rivalry between religious persuasions and ideological conflict back on the agenda. but as an integrating reference which may be shared by all Europeans. political.60 Religion in the New Europe itage which Europeans theoretically share. The heritage covered by the reference is a Jewish and. a process in which the Catholic Church would put itself forward as the favored guardian of the European soul. it denotes a clearly demarcated area.”10 This is an important question that is worth considering if we wish the reference to a shared religious inheritance to be able to operate. may be seen outside it as a way of setting boundaries. while one hopes that it may have an integrating effect within the Community. may seem. In a study of Pope John Paul II’s speeches during his visit to the European institutions in 1992. hence the most legitimate administrators. As such. in the eyes of religious institutions. bordered to the east by the domain of Orthodox Christianity and to the south by that of Islam. in its two variants.

If Europe’s religious foundation is weakened. this situation encourages the republicanization of religious identities (which secularization was supposed to have pushed back into the private domain). It also shares the risk that the extent of the social implications of this turning point. The possibility that extremely bitter cultural (and hence social and political) conflicts may come into being in this context is not just a theory. For that would mean forgetting that both the concept and experience of autonomy and the concept and experience of human dominion over nature—both implicat- . may give rise. There. We have sufficiently clear evidence to believe that this is not a mere hypothesis. Hunter (in a somewhat onesided but relevant manner). this does not mean that the Judeo-Christian bedrock into which the foundation is sunk is being definitively dismissed. cannot be dismissed out of hand.12 it takes on special significance in the religious domain.11 At the very least. and even to regain their lost political influence. and indeed the psychological implications for the individual. In this final area. by relying on the reactionary forces generated by the widespread insecurity (the loss of all absolute references) caused by this change.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 61 Secondly. as it already has in the United States. Such bodies may make every effort to defend their social and economic influence. to a severe backlash on the part of institutions and religious authorities.” like the one in the United States whose violence is described by the sociologist James D. it heightens the tension between the propensity toward the tolerant individualization of belief and the ambition of asserting the right to differ within the public forum as to the “truth” the community claims to possess. reference to Europe’s religious heritage becomes meaningful. it is the privileged place for negotiating—based on the work of producing a shared memory—the reconciliation between establishing a common spirit and acknowledging the unique features that nourish this common spirit. it is one of the potential testing grounds for the production of “strong evaluations” with respect to the completely new cultural situations currently facing Europe. The possibility of the emergence in Europe of a “culture war. While this feature is part of the general trend of all modern democratic societies to promote individual rights (of a person or group) to publicly assert the uniqueness of identity. Lastly.13 In this context. Europe partakes of the questions that are raised in all ultramodern societies.

62 Religion in the New Europe ed in weakening the religious foundation—are themselves derived (at least in part) from that same Judeo-Christian tradition. 2001. G. the question of the “European soul” is best addressed by considering these two aspects. Paris. Dubet. 3 Cf. Gallimard. Le déclin de l’institution. 2001). Sadoun (ed. definitively ceased to exist.e. D. Flammarion. Religion in Britain since 1945. cf. B. Bayard. L’Archipel paysan. secondly. which might be considered. 1 . Darton. Catholicisme. 27–137. La religion en mouvement. Hervieu et J.” which is borne out (confirmed by negative examples i. M.” in M. La démocratie en France. Blackwell. Paris. Parameters of Faith in the Modern World. Paris. In my opinion. Thus. the very experience of the weakening of the foundations of religion becomes the starting point for the reconsideration of European religious heritage with reference to two specific aspects: firstly. Longman. “La démocratie française au risque du monde. Hervieu-Léger. F. the issue of dominion over nature. rather than as merely the liberal affirmation of an individual’s autonomy in his private life. in any case. 4 Cf. the possibility of redefining autonomy on the basis of JudeoChristian concepts of otherness and mutual relations. Paris. 6 Regarding this change. Europe: The Exceptional Case. D.). Notes Cf. and G. La religion dans la démocratie. 1999 (Poche Champs. London. 8 Despite the considerable shake-up caused by the AIDS epidemic. 1998. as something other than raw material and a source of revenue. 2003. pp. Gauchet. 7 Cf. Editions de l’Aube. Le pèlerin et le converti. Paris. the eradication of a number of major diseases and progress in disease prevention have given substance in Europe to the problem of “entitlement to health. Seuil. T1: Idéologies. economic and cultural inequalities in access to healthcare. and D. Todd. 2000. the analysis given by P. 1994. Viard. not by referring nostalgically to a religious past that is both glorious and painful but which has. La fin d’un monde. London. Paris. HervieuLéger. Davie. Bouretz. Paris. 2000. 2003. 2 Cf. access problems) by the existence of social. Parcours de la laïcité. 2002. Davie. CalmannLévy. La religion en miettes ou la question des sectes. in the light of the Judeo-Christian concepts of the Creation. Gallimard. 5 Cf. Hervieu-Léger.

(Bellarmin. Hunter. Taylor.). cf. cit. P. op. Culture Wars. cit. 1999. Jean-Paul II et l’Europe. Le pèlerin et le converti. 1991. The Struggle to Define America. Cerf.The Role of Religion in Establishing Social Cohesion 9 63 C. New York. La Découverte.. M. Willaime.” in G. Basic Books. La religion dans la démocratie. and J. op. P. Le malaise dans la modernité. Gauchet. 10 J. and D. “Les religions et l’unification européenne. D. Paris. 1991. Paris. Hervieu-Léger (eds. cerf. Identités religieuses en Europe. Paris. Hervieu-Léger. Davie et D. 1996. Gallimard. Willaime (ed. 1992). 12 On this “democracy of identities”.). Strasbourg. 13 On the specific tension in the contemporary religious arena between soft or mutual forms of validation of belief and hard forms of community validation of belief. Schnapper. 2002. La démocratie providentielle. 11 James D. cf. . Paris.

I am concerned.’ and the way in which every human being is a king and a priest ‘unto God. if the answer is rather discouraging. the question is whether the specifically religious gold standard. I would suggest that —classical sources apart—ideas like liberty. I assume that a question about how religion does or does not contribute to European integration is an empirical question. but its rules are already set by that agenda. and it might be possible to respond by drawing on carefully selected religious norms relevant to those concerns. and. . No doubt the question itself is embedded in normative concerns. such as our oneness (irrespective of all adventitious characteristics) in Christ. Were I to pause briefly and play that game. That is a game worth playing. But that is not my main task. such as those now focused on the European Constitution. with the varying states of religion between Galway and Salonika. then.DAVID MARTIN Integration and Fragmentation Patterns of Religion in Europe Languages of Religion In this essay I shall be making certain assumptions unconnected with any personal views about further European integration. the unity of humanity ‘under God. one arrives at comprehensive mottos of republican principle and virtue.’ ‘The Peace of God. not with that particular subset of religious norms—of which subsidiarity is a characteristic example—which are capable of being subsumed within the conceptual abstractions dominating the humanist agenda.’ To this I would add ‘Glory to God.’ and ‘Christian liberty’ by God’s grace. Since Christian language can in this way be emptied out into ordinary secular currency. If one removes the references to Christ and to God. then that is what I have to report. equality and fraternity are secular translations of Biblical texts.

like a media interview. one is permitted to think outside this protected vantage point. reserves the right to question without being questioned itself. I hold that the hidden gold standard provides permanent backing for secular enlightened usage. acceptance and alienation. But unless the protocols of human dignity are threatened or violated either by different religions or by different . such as peace with justice and human responsibility. any more than a secular Renaissance can be confused with a Second Birth. however. but cannot be confused with it. is still required as reserve backing. I referred above to the enlightened agenda as a kind of takenfor-granted—one which. The normative question can therefore be rephrased to ask how this presence and this fact may or may not be acknowledged in the public realm. and perhaps override. From the protected vantage point of that agenda. transformation and deformation. each involved in a complex encounter with rivalrous religious universalisms. specific modes of human association. In these encounters there are certainly shared wisdoms. enlightened elites presuppose an established universalism that somehow has to cope with. its fundamental grammar of incarnation and redemption. sacrifice and resurrection. to be exploited and explored. In any case. In a supposedly postmodern age. Religious language is embedded in specific angles of vision. images.Integration and Fragmentation 65 held (literally) in vaults and crypts. and exclamations of worship. while resisting all attempts at a final conversion. and in sacred places specifically shaped and informed by the gestures. Such sacred places are scattered all over Europe and are part of its unity. or whether it has been finally converted into the secular. such as those represented by France. an awkward. A Risorgimento in the secular realm echoes the Resurrection. What we have in practice are rivalrous secular universalisms. a relativistic nihilism of the kind brilliantly delineated in John Gray’s Straw Dogs (2002) easily follows. Even if you dismiss Christianity as a lingering or malingering tenant. When one repudiates that standard. complementary vocabularies and perennial common understandings. cannot be incorporated into the public realm without damage and compromise on all sides. fissiparous and archaic religious particularity. Religious language is sui generis. this deposit of faith remains a social presence and a social fact. Anglo-America and (until recently) Russia.

there are more basic differences between west and east.66 Religion in the New Europe Enlightenments. rather than to accept them in principle while venally evading them in practice. mostly moving westward from German sources. Scottish. The main historical conflict. Italy and Greece. In any case. in search of places where sensuous relaxation can be briefly indulged in beneath a southern sun. especially northwest and southeast. and a sense of an unoccupied neutral space. linguistically and historically. the postProtestant north still preens itself on its capacity to internalize rules and laws. If there are such palpable if modest differences between north and south. Not only are there characteristic and powerful alliances of Christianity and Enlightenments running east and west across the northern tier from Harvard to Halle. with the British usually leaning westward once push comes to shove. The Anglo-Dutch genealogy of 1689 and the American genealogy of 1776 have long faced the genealogies of 1789 and 1917. but there are also powerful and parallel lines of theological communication. which includes high caliber lay opinion . which was once between the British and French versions. This is where the sometime Protestant character of Britain retains some relevance in spite of the passionate love affairs pursued by the educated British middle classes with France. Dutch. Religiously. These have had or. Whatever may be true of the old border of the magisterial Reformation. Neither God nor truth can be pre-empted by the secular city. abstract rights are notoriously capable of being deployed in contrary directions: gays should not be discriminated against when it comes to employment and religious organizations should be able to employ those who share their ethos. a limited federal view of the state. and all involve piety and reason in a partial alliance. German and American). Enlightenments. have lately arrived at. there must be respect for difference. as allied to the omnicompetent and secularist state. Britain looks west to North America as well as to Australasia and the global Anglosphere. are in conflict. All that aside. mutations of Protestant and Catholic attitudes still remain in force to cause cultural and political misunderstanding. then. in the German case. In the north there is a socially critical religious leadership. has now become a conflict between the American and French versions. is challenged by other less statist Enlightenments (English. and the French Enlightenment in particular.

particularly where Catholics are effectively a minority. Media convenience and political convenience collude with this Catholic view. These comments outline certain basic contrasts in contemporary European religiosity. Then there are the two Protestant types of religiosity found right across the northern tier. Staatshilfe. to use a recent formulation by Klaus Tanner. or active. and especially the southeast. There is an embedded folk Catholicism with its redoubts in the south. in the Englishstyle. the former East Germany and Estonia. Selbshilfe. and a federal state working in partnership with churches to maintain a massive web of social assistance in Germany: Gotteshilfe. in the American style. but with northern outliers. based on religion as generating voluntary social capital. So one needs to understand both how the sacred may occupy rival poles. depends to a great extent on whether the Church has been aligned with. entrepreneurial and competitive. churches in the east damage their moral credibility by seeking power and status. Perhaps I may summarize. There is the ethnoreligion of eastern Europe. whether radical liberal or Marxist. to speak on behalf of nations. or opposed to. the accepted role of religious leaderships has been. the mobilization of national feeling and the nation-state. Religion and ethnicity either divide the sacred between them. sometimes with recently renewed links to the state. The remaining kinds of religion are the cases of successful secularist indoctrination by the state in France. In the east. or the sanctity of faith and nation are partially merged. with a strong Social Democratic reflection of Lutheran monopoly in Scandinavia. because the success of counterindoctrination by an ideologically secularist state. Western Europe has also nurtured ethnoreligions. even though the concrete norms governing people’s lives are not at all subject to ecclesiastical guidance or control. either as passive service station under the shadow of establishment. but energized by several different kinds of alien rule. and how it . and remains. Brüderhilfe. the Czech Republic. One is Anglo-Dutch and Anglo-American. The other is Scandinavian and German. in particular in such niches as the Brittany peninsula and the island of Ireland.Integration and Fragmentation 67 on such matters as bioethics. There is a socially concerned ‘reformed’ Catholicism. whereas in the south the weight of a more traditional Catholicism supports the idea of the Church speaking as a collective voice. This is the obverse of religious nationalism. Indeed.

One also needs to be cautious about projections concerning the demise of sacred nationalism or the sacred nation-state. and as a code . Part of the aim of this essay is to lend additional depth to those standard accounts of religiosity that rely on comparative statistics about belief and practice. Some patterns of religion in Europe In what follows I will sketch some patterns of religion in Europe that can be mentally superimposed. but on passionate judgments about pure air. Counting matters. but one needs some account of religion as a mode of social consciousness and identity rooted in history and geography.68 Religion in the New Europe may partially migrate to occupy a new national sacred space. The second is that religion should not be regarded as a separate channel of culture. and green issues. The first is that Christianity embodies a dialectic of the religious and the secular that more easily generates secular mutations of faith than straightforward replacements and displacements. the rumors of whose death could well be exaggerated. charismatic movements. but as a distinctive current mingling in the mainstream. not on self-control. as is the sacred nation-state in France. stressing human potential. Since parts of northern Europe are post-Protestant (in spite of the fact that even in secular Britain 72% identify themselves as Christian). Christianity can be viewed as a flexible repertoire of images and gestures. My aim is to suggest what these patterns mean with regard to the integration and fragmentation of Europe. racism. Holy or otherwise. sometimes going with the flow. time and place. sometimes against it. sacralizing the individual. Sacred nationalism is palpably alive in Croatia. one must also observe the growth of largely unorganized subjective spiritualities. These two premises taken in tandem mean that religious forms and molds are often reflected in secular analogues.’ it is the world of the Spirit. Joachim of Fiore would not have been surprised at the arrival of his Third Age of the Holy Spirit. and creating a kind of Puritanism based. The Scandinavian symbiosis of Lutheranism and Social Democracy is one such pre-eminent case. and I should say that they rest upon two premises. and the subjective ‘self-religions. like a set of transparencies. If there is a unifying dimension connecting changes in the Church.

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simultaneously replicating itself and adjusting to social cues and circumstances. It is best to proceed with concrete illustrations of the different patterns, rather than to continue setting out programmatic abstractions. One pattern of changing relations between the religious and the secular can be found at the center of every European city, though most dramatically so in regional and national capitals. In the Byzantine tradition, divine and human sovereignty are placed in intimate juxtaposition at the sacred heart of the city, whereas, in a western renaissance city like Florence, we see the incipient separation of powers in the two distinct spaces of Cathedral and Signoria. Rome and Paris are ancient cities where a relatively recent history of conflict between the religious and the secular has been realized in rival architectural emplacements. In Rome, St Peter’s is directly confronted by the vast Victor Emmanuel Monument, though eventually the Via della Conciliazione had to be constructed to bring Vatican City and the national capital back into contact. In Paris, Notre Dame and the Sacré Coeur represent one kind of sacred center, in which France is the eldest daughter of the Church, while the Panthéon and the Place de la Bastille represent sacred centers in which France is the eldest daughter of the revolution. This paradigmatic urban ecology, with its rival versions of the sacred, signals two centuries of warfare between religion and progress, Church and state, faith and liberal nationalism, clericalism and anticlericalism, Catholic and Enlightenment universality. It provided a model of conflict, and of the attempted supercession of one sacred by another, disseminated from Paris to the intelligentsias of Europe and Latin America. The governing concept, enshrined in Paris, and taken for granted in France, was and remains laicité. Quite different notions, however, are enshrined (and taken for granted) elsewhere. In Germany, Scandinavia, England and Scotland, piety and enlightenment lived to some extent in partnership, partly because the Church was subordinate to the state, and overlapped the middle and ruling classes. In Berlin and Helsinki, the churches were integrated into a profile that included the university, the arts and administration within a classical format conveying the power of enlightened absolutism. In Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm, monuments to Social Democracy and civic consciousness later com-


Religion in the New Europe

plemented the old centers. The modest enlightenment in England and Scotland integrated modest classical churches into civic squares and bequeathed a model of coexistence to North America that has become the main alternative to the model of warfare and supercession emanating from France. Clearly, some of these different models of the religious and the secular can be read in the city itself, literally at a glance. On the one hand, Europe is a unity by virtue of the universality of the basic distinction between the religious and the secular, and the deposit of sacred buildings from Syracuse to Trondheim and Dublin to Sofia; on the other, it is a diversity by virtue of the different ways that distinction is realized. This mapping in terms of urban sacred ecology can be supplemented by thinking in terms of architectural styles in a way already hinted at in references to the classicism of enlightened absolutism in parts of Europe (Charles III, Joseph II, Catherine the Great), and the more modest bourgeois classicism of the Anglo-American tradition. Europe could be looked at, again quite literally, in terms of zones of Counter-Reformation Baroque, the classicism of enlightened absolutism, and the more modest, domestic and bourgeois traditions found in Amsterdam, London and Boston, New England. These three civic cultures, each rooted in Protestantism, pioneered a model of (relative) pluralism, tolerance, federalism and philosemitism between them. They reduced the height and scale of human and divine sovereignty and emptied out some of the potency of the sacred concentrated at the heart of the city. Perhaps the weakening of the sacred center began when the sacred heart of Catholic Amsterdam was forcibly sequestered and turned over to the university. This must be regarded as a major mutation because it shifted the locale of protected space to the university (and eventually the art gallery and concert hall), which was conceived of as a new kind of Church. Whether or not that idea holds up in the academic history of sacred representation, it remains the case that the four cities of Amsterdam, Edinburgh, London and Boston have been historically linked by shared forms of politics, economy and religion, as well as by naval power and global trading empires, since the late seventeenth century. They also represent one major linkage and continuity between Europe and North America, just as France represents another. In light of

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such examples, it is not so easy to formulate principles that unequivocally distinguish Europe from the U.S. so as to render the U.S. distinguishable as ‘the Other.’ This mapping of the connection between the northwestern peripheries of Europe and the northeastern peripheries of America is really just an extension of the initial map based on such models as Rome and Paris, Byzantium and Florence. It is one that would reach its outer limits, expressed in purely classical terms, with the sacred field of Washington D.C. representing the final separation of church and state. But a second mapping or transparency can be devised, based on the way the historic religious moulds of European societies are mirrored in characteristic secular mutations and transpositions. The rigorous state monopoly exercised by the Catholic Church in France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, for example, was transposed into the monopoly eventually exercised during the Third Republic by the omnicompetent secular state. Just as for the Catholic Church error had no rights, so, for the sacred Republic, Catholic error had no right to acknowledgement in the public realm. The continuity of this French tradition of secular monopoly is perhaps illustrated in recent laws restricting the operation of sects and cults. Another example of secular mutation is the way the inclusive scope of Lutheran monopoly in Scandinavia has been fused with, and replicated by, the inclusiveness of Social Democracy and the welfare state. In Germany, Holland and Switzerland once again, religious pluralism is mirrored in the federal character of the state. In England, the attempt of the Reformed Anglican Church to accommodate and ‘comprehend’ an inclusive middle, and the eventual evolution of that accommodation into an accepted rivalry between the church-state establishment and religious non-conformity, became mirrored in the flexibility of the political system and its concept of loyal opposition. Here another American comparison may be useful. England (and Scotland and Ulster) generated a style of evangelical Protestantism based on heartwork which, in the U.S., became a universal devotion to individual sincerity. However, the retention of an Anglican religious establishment meant that England also acted as a hinge turning, on the one hand, towards American inwardness, and, on the

72 Religion in the New Europe other. and looking forward it gave birth to Schuman and Adenauer. I will treat secularity as a condition. The capital of Germany is no longer situated in the frontier area at gemütlich Catholic Bonn. Strasbourg and Geneva. this is the point where Latinity encountered the German tribes (as Trent was also much later!). I now need to sketch two supplementary maps. as well as linking England to Scandinavia’s cautious attitude towards European involvement. and has lost its southern littoral to Islam. and of a secular landscape stretching from Birmingham to Tallinn. but in post-Protestant Berlin. broadly understood. along with Monnet. Looking back historically even further. So. but in between. Increasingly the new Berlin looks like the capital of the whole northern plain. since Rome is really the Center of the Mediterranean. With only the modest extension it undergoes in Frankfurt. Each is symbolically close to the linguistic frontier that renders them appropriate sites for international co-ordination and co-operation. this heartland makes more sense as a center than Rome. and secularism as an ideology. Berlin and Paris respectively are the centers of European secularity and European secularism. I nonetheless hope to illustrate how such cultural characteristics belong among others separating the Anglosphere from the European continent. Since the mapping so far has focused to a considerable extent on peripheries and secular translations. If these distinctions seem rather marginal to European integration. the second tracing the heartlands of secularity and secularism. who. the national traditions of Britain and Scandinavia understand each other. is one of mixed religion and contains the three key cities of Brussels. The epicenters of secu- . became the architects of the Franco-German compact after the Second World War. towards Scandinavian formality. the old imperial capital and the city that hosted the first assembly of liberal Germany and that is now a global financial capital. The historic center of the West is arguably in Charlemagne’s Middle Kingdom and in the bands of territory on either side of Aachen/ Aix-la-Chapelle. This frontier area. north and south. For a wide variety of cultural reasons. while both regarding the mainland of Europe with suspicion. the first identifying the historic European center for which Britain and Scandinavia are peripheries. the heartland of Western Europe redivivus is neither in post-Protestant Berlin nor in post-Catholic Paris.

for example. in spite of the extraordinary role played by the Lutheran churches of East Germany in the revolution of 1989. the remarkably vital Orthodoxy of Romania and the relatively secular condition of Bulgaria. The countries of east-central and eastern Europe are all. as a country constructing itself both in Latin and orthodox terms. Revivals also occurred in those parts of the western Ukraine historically linked to Poland and Lithuania. and a mélange of magical ideas alive and well in the population at large. while in Hungary the situation was mixed. The crucial point to notice. The recovery in Serbia parallels the religious recovery in Russia after the break-up of the Soviet empire. Catholicism was perceived as hostile. given the strong connection between the birth of the nation and the Protestant east of the country around Debrecen. is that a great deal hinges on whether Catholicism or Catholic political powers were hostile to the birth of a modern nation-state: in France and in Czech lands. or Austrians. in Poland. due to a long history of alien domination by Ottomans. suggest that Lutheranism is less able to resist secular persecution in the way Catholicism did in Lithuania and Poland. unless the divisions in Bulgarian Orthodoxy and poor negotiation with the government after the war were serious factors. . The examples of East Germany and Estonia. has a very distinctive national identity nourished by the Orthodox Church. and in both cases the framework of Church-state partnership was renewed with perhaps only a minority of the population much engaged by active religion. yet as the federated state went into dissolution it recovered a strong sense of religious identity. Some of the variations in religiosity are not entirely explicable.Integration and Fragmentation 73 larity lie in the former East Germany and the Czech Republic. Lithuania. and to a lesser extent Latvia. The Polish episcopate tried this and failed. Certainly Romania. Croatia and Slovakia the situation was quite the reverse. or Russians—either Orthodox or communist. Serbia presents an interesting case because when at the center of Yugoslavia under Tito it was highly secularized. to this or that extent characterized by ethnoreligiosity. particularly in relation to Kosovo. however. the vitality of ethnoreligion throughout Eastern Europe has brought about no nostalgia for the restoration of ecclesiastical influence over law and personal conduct. However. when one compares.

especially in countries where practicing Catholics are a minority. and of ancient and modern notions. Exactly to what extent the Church is a powerful presence in the public realm. which is not necessarily marked by conscientious religious practice of a formal kind. the Basque country. but by customs. As in much of Eastern Europe and Russia. of northern Portugal. and by a global diaspora on a scale similar to the diasporas of the Armenians and the Irish. The Greek case also illustrates the vigorous and firm profile of religion brought about by being at a border with Islam in Turkey. A similar folk Protes- . what I have called embedded religion is not only found on the Mediterranean littoral. or where Catholicism itself is only locally the dominant religion. lies quite close to the surface. and Orthodoxy co-extensive with citizenship and Greek identity. There is a further extension here related to various micro-nationalisms that may or may not be shaped by geographical niches like mountains or peninsulas. but in the Alps and various extensions like the Veneto. and in the mountains of the Massif Centrale. On the other hand. by the ethnic cleansings on both sides of the Islamic-Christian border. is illustrated by the fierce controversy over whether the bearer’s religion should be noted on the Greek passport.74 Religion in the New Europe Greece requires some separate comment because it is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the secularism of France and yet remains the historic icon of western democracy and rationality. in spite of the steep decline of church-going in the Iberian peninsula as a whole. Galicia. The map of ethnoreligion in Eastern Europe overlaps the map of embedded folk religion throughout the littoral of the northern Mediterranean. Britanny and Bavaria have been similar areas of intense Catholic consciousness further to the north even though they have also experienced a marked decline in official practice. and parts of the Pyrenees are often regions of quasi-uniformity with respect to Catholic consciousness. pilgrimages and festivals. and Catholic Ireland may well belong in ‘the south’ rather than in the northwest. This kind of religion is rather different from the conscious and socially aware Catholicism that exists further north. parts of Catalonia. Catalonia and north eastern Spain. Aragon. a confused mixture of magic and paganism. Catholicism in Sicily or south of Ancona is not like Catholicism in either France or Holland.

The mapping offered so far has covered embedded religion or ethnoreligion or some combination. Zaragoza. with consequent danger of ethnic cleansing. Thus. except in Ulster: Armagh with its two cathedrals still marks a dangerous transition. Broadly speaking. Rocamadour. As has already been noted. Montserrat. peninsulas and islands). Fatima. Strasbourg and Alsace have been converted from borderlands into centers of co-operation. and has also sketched some special characteristics of the semi-detached northern and northeastern peripheries. What remains now is to fill in some borderlands. Bavaria) and is associated with great pilgrimage centers. However. and even more so Sarajevo and Skopje. A combination of embedded Catholicism and resistance to “the center” gives rise to a distinctive political coloring (southern Italy. it is all quiet along the old border of the Reformation. enquiring whether the borders are quiet and quiescent or lively and dangerous. the old West-East border. for example.Integration and Fragmentation 75 tantism exists in niches in northern Europe: the Western Isles in Scotland. Speculating a bit as to these regional Catholicisms (often but not always in geographical niches such as highlands.” of German settlement in Romania. characterized by dangerous mixtures of majorities and minorities. Lisieux. with Rome virtually in the south and Milan looking northward across the Alps. feel under pressure. Santiago. the fate of the historic “seven cities. and parts of Norway. and when. the great centers of northern secularity and French secularism. although Breslau/Wroc°aw and Pressburg/Bratislava/Pozsony are seemingly settled borders. Timisoara. and the creation of ghettos such as now exist in Sarajevo and Mostar.’ whether the center is in Madrid or in Paris. at least as you go south and east is still alive with dangerous tensions. the Vierzehnheiligen. they probably express a resistance to ‘the center. “conscientious” minority Catholicism and conscientious minority Protestantism. though in the case of Italy there are various centers. whether they are Catholic or Protes- . The Hungarians of Transylvania and of areas more isolated and deeper into Romania. Where the Virgin chooses to appear. That fragmentation is part of the “problem” of Italy: it is nearly all elongated peninsula. Lourdes. are not. is not entirely accidental. and in Jutland. This is precisely the region of the most intense ethnoreligiosity. Einsiedeln and Medjugorje.

and these harbor both an ancient Christianity and enclaves for modern spiritual travelers of many kinds. and it is significant that the Romanian revolution of December 1989 was sparked off by a Hungarian Protestant pastor in Timisoara. form around seas. in new spiritualities (or old spirits in Irish pubs) is phenomenal. even if not on the strictly political map and not overtly present on the ecclesiastical map. but because it insists on fragmentation and resists institutions as such. Communities can. I would like to sketch in a mutation of Protestant and post-Protestant spirituality that does to some extent still respect the old border of the Reformation.76 Religion in the New Europe tant. as Stepinac. like the Lutheran Baltic and the Celtic Irish Sea. leads to an inability to cope with the necessary negotiated compromises. also with associated kinds of music. such as Iona. St Patrick’ s Mountain and St David’s. In the case of the Irish Sea. with the result that rules are taken seriously and to heart. The rise of Celticism around and far beyond the Irish sea. and. islands and peninsulas with sacred associations. It has affinities with other ‘constructed’ revivals. Tiso and Makarios were in the mid-twentieth century. This area of spirituality is difficult to chart. However. but also of pagan roots. in particular in the USA. Indeed. it is surrounded by highlands. Its origins lie in the Protestant pursuit of inwardness and in the Protestant desire to internalize the rules.” These Western leaders have mostly ceased to speak for ethnic constituencies and are rather the spokesmen of a liberal middle class within a more conservative active Church constituency. In the whole of this area church leaders may also be political leaders. not only because it is so varied. There are links here with folklore and mythological revivals all over the continent. the understood corruptions of politics. combined with an understood evasion of them in practice. . In its most developed form this leads to the secular religion of sincerity or authenticity. however. and therefore to an apolitical cynicism about government. It is also worth suggesting where other distinctive constituencies may lie. Sincerity and inner seriousness about rules. What was once a classically Protestant objection to a Catholic theoretical acceptance of rules. their representative role needs to be contrasted with the role of church leaders in “the West. after all. not only of earlier Christianities. perhaps. has become an alienation from society as such with strongly religious resonances.

In parenthesis Britain is unusually included here. The churches have mostly incorporated this in the USA. The multitudinous non-institutional forms. in particular patriarchy. hard work and selfdiscipline in favor of complaints about spoliation. are difficult to comprehend. The fundamental shift. present both in the new spiritualities and the shifting psychological landscape within the churches. defy mapping. as versions of Irish and Spanish spirituality indicate. except perhaps through the proliferation of holistic therapies and green politics. Belgian and Italian politics. is good. If one were to identify this complex of spiritualities negatively. expressions of both the Catholic and Protestant faiths. Protestantism destroys its capacity to reproduce and to retain its vital memory. sacrifice and redemption. war. however. it would be as part of the religious hedonism and search for “goods” of all kinds which has always underlain the more ascetic. except to underline the gulf that separates the Muslim faith in particular from the subjective spiritualities just outlined. but sin and evil. group discipline and personal obligation. but by going completely inward. is (as a very insightful study of Kendal. One version of a looser. Put dramatically. human or physical. becoming personal and inarticulate. and the depredations of global capitalism and misapplied science. It therefore overflows into a feminine or feminist sense of “participation” in the rhythms of the natural world. more spontaneous spirituality retains links with disciplined life-styles within a vigorous charismatic Christianity. not because of some problem with the scientific world-view or rationalization. it also rejects authority. and indeed Puritanical. whereas in Europe they mostly have not. partly because some . Subjectivity militates against obedience. this classically (and stereotypically) Protestant objection is still present in Anglo-Saxon attitudes towards the EU.Integration and Fragmentation 77 Of course. and towards French. desecration. Nature. even though evil is readily identified as malignantly present in the institutional and official social order. Concerns over pollution and demands for pure air and pure food and political correctness are a version of Puritanism that has relaxed personal responsibility. Protestantism has no monopoly on Puritanism. Cumbria shows) toward subjectivization. The migration of mostly non-Christian populations is not a focus of this essay. be it religious or otherwise.

rights. but also because migration comes from global populations not adjacent south and east of the European continent. or assessing such indices with regard to secularization. The characteristics of Muslim migrant populations are antithetical to the “advanced” religiosity of much of Europe. organic. monocultural and patriarchal. as well as stirred to some extent by global radical Islam. It remains to be seen whether Muslim assimilation will follow the path of Jewish assimilation (bracketing for a moment the horrors of the holocaust) but there are reasons to doubt it. Of course. in this context Turkey as a nation-state seeks a space for neutral civility. while being caught in the classic liberal dilemma as to how far one should include the exclusive. The object has been primarily to look at kinds of religiosity and kinds of secularity. or of principled secularism. inclusivity and multiculturalism. That sheer numbers should play a crucial role is obviously a major anxiety with respect to interreligious tensions and social harmony in general. rather than the religiosity of which it has had more than enough at home. such as the size. and the ethnic and class character. location. Muslim communities have learned how to use a rhetoric of freedom. as the recent Dutch experience indicates. Nor can one assume the tolerance of even the most multicultural of European societies. The relative lack of the religious/secular distinction within Islam has serious consequences.78 Religion in the New Europe of the migration into Britain comes from the Christian Caribbean and Christian sub-Saharan Africa. The official leaderships of the churches mostly express the inclusive sentiments often characteristic of the educated middle classes. practice and religious selfidentification. to the point where assimilation is perceived as death. in the historic French and . while for the most part—whatever their internal fragmentation—remaining integral. of the migrant community. Whether or not there is accelerating tension along this particular internal border depends on various factors. Integration and fragmentation In this essay so far I have not gone through the standard procedure of recounting figures of variations in belief. Even Holland has found that it contains a border.

but secularizing tendencies exist even in Poland and Greece. Equally clearly. following its arrival at a post-war plateau. in many areas. as well as the effects of the media. and this has been evident above all in the mainstream churches. There is. however. even though partly offset. while Scandinavians belong without believing. Throughout Western Europe the secularizing process has accelerated since the sixties. yet (in Grace Davie’s formulation) Britons believe without belonging.” Protestant Scandinavia ranks low on practice but high with respect to confirmation and. and countries like Ireland. Clearly. as the Kendal study suggests. low on both belief and practice. This is sometimes described as a deterioration in social capital. Nearly three out of four Britons describe themselves in a census as Christian. The usual caveats must be made. These varied profiles could be amplified. of Christian moral maxims. what one needs to know is as follows. and three out of a hundred as Muslim. church-related religion than would be consistent with the size of “Catholic” populations. Poland. as these might bear on the integration or fragmentation of Europe. Britain resembles Scandinavia in terms of indices of practice. That list in itself reminds us that Catholicism accounts for a much higher proportion of active. Greece. the decline in churchrelated religious practice is paralleled by a decline in large-scale voluntary activity. high on all counts. Romania and Malta. by an increase in the activity . of course: the acceptance of Christian identity. but it is only the broad profile that matters.Integration and Fragmentation 79 Russian style. that perhaps between one fifth and one third of the population has some active engagement with religious practice—depending on the criteria employed—within a range between the former East Germany. including political activity. So far as the figures go. even though religious practice in Birmingham is probably more Muslim than anything else. of prayer. with Catholicism ranking perhaps second. as such. Western Europe has undergone a different experience from Eastern Europe. First. an undeniable secularizing process affecting the capacity of churches to reproduce themselves and their historical memory in the younger generations. of God. This process includes pre-emptive strikes by personnel in key educational and welfare agencies under religious aegis in favor of secular criteria. and of “spirituality. nurtures what is known as “personal” religion.

and the ethnoreligiosity of much of Eastern Europe. (Interestingly enough. traditional Orthodox and Catholic model. as contrasted with Anglo-Germanic secularity. exclusive claims.80 Religion in the New Europe of small. questions about the role of the religious sphere with respect to European integration are problematic. and especially perhaps Poland. where churches or religions may be surrogates for nations. or Tiso in Slovakia. since we all understand that politics is inherently about negotiated differences as well as about solidarities. cultural similarity and cultural variety? To begin with. particularly northwestern Europe. they abhor it. How does all the background sketched in so far bear on questions relating to European integration and fragmentation. now seeking integration in Europe. or the leadership of the Hungarian minority in Romania—or Ghamsakurdia in Georgia! In terms of spirituality and ‘sobornost. which most rejects the secularist ideology of France and Russia. The question itself suggests there is a problem. In terms of ethnoreligiosity.g. and from the leadership that goes with it. Once again. and a serious one. An Anglican Archbishop is not remotely like such figures as Archbishops Makarios or Stepinac. The question is also slightly paradoxical in that one would not pose it were there an implicit consensus. intimate self-help and mutual support groups. there are perhaps nearly as many Poles and Greeks in Chicago.) Perhaps this is the point at which to highlight some characteristics of Christian leaderships in Western Europe with regard to European integration. and the ethnopolitics of religion. After all. Although such leaderships retain some representa- . as there are in Warsaw and Athens. One way of stating the problem is to draw attention to the difference between French laicité and its principled secularism. spiritual and otherwise (e. however. since one would not put the question in the same way regarding the role of politics. and identifies its liberation with the USA and the Anglosphere. There are parallel differences between an actively chosen personal religion on the Protestant model. differs greatly from religion as cultural resistance. it is that very same eastern world. Families Anonymous). and embedded religion on the older.’ Christians in the West reach out to the Catholic and Orthodox world. the religiosity of activist and socially concerned Christianity represented by many church leaderships in Western Europe.

Indeed. but most do not. and looks like was once the case to exemplary figures and models. In the West Church leaderships as such have this totemic quality without exercising what might be called moral jurisdiction. typically those raised by the advances in the life sciences. more particular where religion relates to a micro-nationalism. brought about by important ethical issues. So the question is not simply what “the Church” says or what the Pope pronounces. This in turn is linked to a more general point about Christian morality and secular morality. reverence for life and charitable . attitudes and agenda.Integration and Fragmentation 81 tive role with respect to religion and nation. and even in Poland and Ireland strong Catholic identity does not imply recognition of ecclesiastical authority. let alone the average dormant Christian identity in the population at large. someone who can prescribe what is appropriate for family organization and sexual behavior. This point was aptly made in the United Sates by whoever it was who joked that the divide between Republican and Democrat in the American Episcopal Church ran along the altar rail. are not the same as those of educated lay persons. but it is decreasingly “patriarchal” in its attitude toward ecclesiastical moral authority. This means they are more liberal. There is a Church view articulated by “churchmen” and there are any number of informed lay viewpoints held by Christians. In such matters. There is a wider issue lurking here. treated by the media as the views of “the Church” according to traditional Catholic conceptions. or a desire for its embodiment in secular law. the Pope is a charismatic totem rather than a source of authority on life-styles. ecumenical and European than the rank and file active Christian constituency. Christianity is most widely understood as care for one’s neighbors. Identity is not obedience. Religious identity may and does seek recognition in the public realm with respect to belief in God and broadly Christian behavior. they are nonetheless likely to be culturally quite close to the secular middle class in modes of expression. Some turn to the Bible or the Church for secure guidance. Religious conservatism and secularity therefore increase in tandem. the views of bishops. for the purposes of Catholic identity. an area where they tend to lag painfully behind what lay Christians already have decided to do in practice. Italy’s low birth rate is the most dramatic index of this. all the evidence suggests that.

but rather the replacement of older exemplars of endeavor and responsibility by peer-group pressure and the often-damaging examples provided by the life-styles of ‘celebrities. It also relates to the shift from ethical attitudes expressed in terms of duty and obligation to criteria of happiness. limit choice.” and it has something to do with the subjective spiritualities (or “self-religions”) already touched on. Such realities pose particular problems for the dominant liberalism of Western societies. and in that respect overlaps ordinary secular precepts.’ What is sometimes referred to as consumer hedonism lies behind the American idea of religious preference. however closely affiliated Christianity may be to Judaism. and. Once again the difference between Protestant Europe and Islam is maximal. However. let alone different varieties of religion. No doubt the polite and politic fiction “Judaeo-Christianity” serves its purpose in observing serious differences in angle of vision. The issue might be summarized by asking whether agreement that all the “children of Abraham” believe in one God is the same as agreement that all believe in the same God. But just how far such ecumenical concepts can be extended to Islam is a moot point. especially because of the difficulty Islam has in recognizing the autonomy of the secular in relation to the religious when it comes to law and the boundaries of social belonging. religion itself is chosen rather than inherited. they who hold most firmly that one should respect “the other” (and indeed feel nostalgia for Catholic. freedom and self-fulfillment. One is talking about different kinds of society. Conscientious choice . Christian language concerning moral obligation is expressed in terms of story and image. this limitless permission is in no way the final advent of human autonomy. more particularly the dominant liberal elites. Christian or secular. and even Islamic communal integrity). and yet most firmly condemn the authoritative deployment of scripture or tradition to inhibit freedom. However. In its extreme form. after all. Orthodox. and so has greater existential impact than abstract civic principles. It is. to that extent.82 Religion in the New Europe attitudes and endeavors. There is a further divide here that relates to what John Paul II has described as a “culture of narcissism. freedom expresses itself as limitless permission to transgress and shock. utility. or maintain patriarchal authority and images of God.

Integration and Fragmentation


in religious matters is inadequately developed. This is an area where contemporary liberals are no more inclined to grant rights to egregious error than Catholics were to concede such rights in the past.

The presence of religion
At this point one comes to issues that trespass awkwardly beyond the domain of sociology. Such issues turn around the specificity and particularity of religious forms of association and language. They are brought out most clearly with respect to the role churches often play, locally and nationally, as foci of communal grief and rejoicing, as for example at the death of Princess Diana and the sinking of the Estonia. Here, religious solidarity, the commonalities of sacred space, and the depth and range of religious language take over where secular talk and utilitarian venues have little or nothing to offer. Religious association has traditionally been expressed through communities of obedience, discipline (internal and external) and sacrifice, based on cumulative reference to deposits of tradition and/or canonical scripture. This is still a crucial aspect of the specific difference exemplified in most forms of contemporary European religion. Religious language also exemplifies difference through being rooted in narratives bearing images of transformation and deformation, transcendence and immanence. It points “beyond” in a vertical as well as a horizontal direction: it aspires, and its grammatical tense is not only the past, but also the future perfect. It conveys solidarity in hope rather than facilitating negotiation over rival interests, as does political language. Of course, it may be that religious hope and aspiration lose some degree of purchase as consumer society offers an interim satiation of human wants, except for the fact that satiation is not satisfaction. “European” principles, such as the dignity of the individual, human rights, equality, solidarity, the primordiality of reason, and the rule of law, function at a different level of abstraction from that of religious language, and to an important extent cover a different spectrum of concerns. There are, indeed, mediating concepts, such as subsidiarity or the autonomy of the secular, which can be fed into secular discourse; and governing concepts like liberty, equality and fraternity can be viewed as translations of St Paul respecting the


Religion in the New Europe

unity and equality of humankind in Christ. But religious language is embedded differently and in a different range of concerns. That human beings are made in the image of God can be translated into such terms as “All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” But the priority of faith, hope and love—above all love—cannot be translated into civic and constitutional terms. Such priorities are laid on human beings by religious commitment in a manner that cannot be articulated as constitutive of the state or as a matter of policy in the public realm. No more can incarnation and redemption be reduced to secular discourse, or churches converted into art galleries and concert halls or civic spaces, without some aspect remaining unfulfilled. Such space is there not for particular social functions, but for the specifically human, and for griefs and joys unmet and unconsidered by other kinds of meeting place. How you treat that specificity and acknowledge it as a presence in the public realm is partly a matter of whether you view religion as archaic survival condemned to continuous erosion by social evolution, or as a constitutive language that is as primordial in its way as reason, and with its own coherence and continuing relevance. Beyond that basically philosophical divide, the question is how far and in what manner you do or do not explicitly acknowledge the religious presence. Empirically it is there: but is it a private or a public fact? Historically, after all, without the prior existence of Christianity, in successive mutations of Reform, Humanism and Enlightenment, the “West” and Europe are little more than geographical expressions, or congeries of economic convenience. NB The above is a think piece not needing academic reference except in its citation of the Kendal, Cumbria, study by Paul Heelas and Linda Woodhead with Benjamin Seel, Bronislaw Szersynski and Karin Tusting, entitled Bringing the Sacred to Life, Oxford, 2004. I have also drawn on Grace Davie Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging, Oxford, 1994, Religion in Modern Europe: a memory Mutates, Oxford UP, 2000, and Europe: the Exceptional Case, London, 2002. There is further empirical detail in Andrew Greeley Religion in Modern Europe at the End of the Second Millennium, London, 2003.


Observations from America

The contributions in this volume provide a very useful overview of the role of religion in the integration of Europe, a matter that has become topical in the current debate over whether some reference to religion should be included in the proposed constitution of the European Union. In what follows I will not attempt a commentary on these excellent papers. Rather, I will make some (more or less organized) observations from the perch on which I happen to sit, namely an American perch. (So as not to offend Taylor’s Canadian sensitivities, I should say “a United States perch.” Canada is different from the United States in religion as in other things. However, for the sake of style, I will stick with the customary terminology.) At first blush there is something ironic about mentioning religion in the same breath as integration. Religion has always been an integrating force—typically by integrating one community in intense and frequently murderous hostility against other communities. The religious history of Europe in particular is dripping with blood— Catholics against Protestants, both against Jews, Latin Christendom against Eastern Orthodoxy, and Christians against Muslims. The idea of religion as an overarching integrative force throughout Europe is novel and, in view of the historical record, not very promising. Indeed, secularism (as carefully defined and distinguished from secularity by Martin) would be a more likely candidate for such a role. Perhaps one could speak more plausibly of European integration despite religion. The American perch is useful, because the comparison between Europe and the United States is theoretically strategic for the sociology of religion. Secularity (simply put, the decline in religious belief

86 Religion in the New Europe and practice) has commonly been seen as an inexorable consequence of modernization. sometimes not so). The conventional distinction is between “religious America” and “secular Europe.” or “Judaeo-Christian-Islamic”) basis of so-called “European values” in the proposed constitution. America is undoubtedly exceptional in many ways. Most of the world is religious. there is something ironic about the current arguments for mention of the religious (or “Judaeo-Christian. But. It so happens that our research center at Boston University is in the final stages of a research project on “Eurosecularity. There has been a high . Could it be that it has actually been helpful to this development? Alexis de Tocqueville certainly thought so. one finds a very different situation.” (The Declaration of Independence. looked at from an American perch. which both guarantees the free exercise of religion and prohibits its establishment by government—no mention of any religious basis for “American values. there are both differences and similarities in the place of religion on the two continents. as is America—Europe is the exception (as stated in the title of a recent book by the British sociologist Grace Davie)—and it is that exception which begs for explanation. Yet the United States. the comparison refers to Western and Central Europe. and this is not the place for a preview. Is there a lesson here for Europe? Be this as it may. is robustly religious when compared with the latter. As one goes east and southeast from this region. material support of the churches. Reference is often made to “American exceptionalism” (sometimes favorably. but not when it comes to religion.) Yet this omission has not been an obstacle to the exuberant development of religion.) What is different? All objective indices of religious behavior are much higher in America—in terms of church attendance. (More precisely. The findings of this study will be published in the near future. recruitment to the clergy. But I will allow myself some idiosyncratic comments of my own. the vortex of the alleged secularity. The only mention of religion in the constitution of the United States is in the First Amendment. is not part of the constitution. which does contain some very vague language of this sort.” directed by Hervieu-Léger with the collaboration of an international team of scholars.” Things are rather more complicated—I will get to this in a moment. which can hardly be described as less modern than Western Europe.

with some forty million Americans describing themselves as “born-again Christians. much less so among Catholics. life after death.” By contrast. Robert Wuthnow. which pluralizes the life-world of individuals . church life in America continues vigorously. In America they frequently set up churches. with only some relatively small enclaves of traditional “churchliness. The prototypical American church of this kind is the Unitarian–Universalist denomination. Hervieu-Léger has called this phenomenon “bricolage” (the term suggests tinkering with a Lego set).” The same difference shows up in subjective indices—expressions of belief in God. But there is one American phenomenon that is almost completely absent in Europe—the exuberant presence of Evangelical Protestantism. which officially defines itself as a community of seekers. has experienced healthy growth. referring to America.”) Significantly. this denomination. I would argue that this phenomenon (and not secularity) is indeed a result of modernity. regardless of the fate of the churches. On both continents this includes the people who say that they are not religious but “spiritual. In Europe these people express their religiosity in very diffuse ways. the way in which entire cultures were shaped by Catholic.Observations from America 87 degree of “de-institutionalization” of religion in Europe. there has also been a decline in Europe of what she calls the “civilizational” role of religion—that is.” Many of them are perpetual seekers (Hervieu-Léger calls them pilgrims) rather than resolute affirmers of this or that faith. and for that matter any of the traditional Christian doctrines. or Protestant. This means that religion is no longer embedded in the culture in a taken-for-granted manner. If Hervieu-Léger is right (as in her recent book Catholicisme. Both the Catholic and the Protestant churches are almost everywhere in a state of institutional crisis. There has been a decline in participation in the socalled “mainline” Protestant churches. though small. typically outside the churches. has used the term “patchwork religion” to describe the same phenomenon. values. say. la fin d’un monde). but rather becomes an object of individual choices. (A telling joke: How does the Unitarian version of the Lord’s Prayer begin? “To Whom It may Concern. Thus America can still be seen as a Protestant civilization in a way in which. salvation through Jesus Christ. But what is similar? The most important similarity is individuation. Scandinavia cannot.

though.88 Religion in the New Europe and makes taken-for-granted certainty (in religion as in everything else) hard to come by. value systems and lifestyles. But this cannot be the whole story. as soon as real religious liberty is introduced in a country. When the churches can no longer rely on the police to fill their pews. Even if no other churches are available in the individual’s neighborhood. between which he is compelled to choose. ever since de Tocqueville there has been the classical explanation of the vitality of American religion in terms of the separation of state and church.) Equally important. but it applies neatly to the modern condition. and competition makes for vital institutions. more rigid than the American model. there will be a de facto separation of church and state. (It was possible to see this long before the recent introduction of economic theory into the sociology of religion by Rodney Stark and others. has now lasted for almost exactly a century. sooner or later. All of these confront the individual with a diversity of worldviews. Indeed. though it makes sense to think of a religious market in which certain economic processes occur. or Sweden) where one traditional church nominally contains the majority of the population.) Modernity can occur under different political and legal regimes. This has long been the case in the democracies of Western Europe. (Jean-Paul Sartre’s notion of “being condemned to freedom” is doubtful as a description of the general human condition. The withdrawal of state support forced American churches to compete. If it were. will be directed against the latter. which is almost certainly a valid explanation. churches that are not identified with the state do not incur the resentments that. he is free not to adhere to a church at all or/and to put together his own religio-moral “patchwork. mass migration. even if it still has an official religious establishment. they are forced to compete for the allegiance of uncoerced consumers of their services. the separation of church and state in France. and the mass communication media. . but the pluralization it engenders is obviously enhanced under democratic regimes that guarantee religious liberty. literacy. This pluralization is caused by a variety of modern developments—urbanization. yet there are no signs that it has vitalized religious institutions in that country. This is so even in countries (like France. with no discernible vitalization of the churches ensuing.” Why the difference? As already indicated.

in America. In many European countries education has been a function of the central state. the status of intellectuals differs greatly as between the two continents. in New England by Congregationalists and in Virginia by Anglicans. America their hell. One. until very recently. Even churches to which such recognition is theologically repugnant are nevertheless forced to behave “denominationally” in the American situation. As Richard Niebuhr had pointed out. none big enough to do the others in. the “denomination. By contrast. Rather. Two.) American religious pluralism has benefited from this cultural trait. but it is still a valid insight. education was entirely run by local communities. with a large number of Protestant churches spreading throughout the colonies. Americans are much less individualistic than other Western cultures such as the French. This difference became very important for religion on both continents as primary education became universal and compulsory. that tended to be more secularized than the general population. The cadres of teachers were then drawn from the lower ranks of an intelligentsia. Three. From the beginning America created a highly commercial culture. . America generated a new type of religious institution. in America. This is a slight exaggeration. unless a religious school was nearby. Attempts at religious establishment. and businessmen tend to have a low opinion of intellectuals.” defined as a church that recognizes other churches’ right to exist. of which I will mention three possible ones. The results are simple: in Europe. This is notably the case with the Roman Catholic Church. (The conventional view is that American culture is very individualistic. again for historically explainable reasons. children were exposed to secularizing indoctrination regardless of the wishes of their parents. soon failed because of this pluralism. the chronology and the intensity of religious pluralism in America: this occurred from the beginnings of European settlement in America. Americans have developed a genius for creating voluntary associations: let three Americans be stranded on a desert island. Raymond Aron once called France the paradise of intellectuals.Observations from America 89 There must be some other factors to account for the difference. I think this is a mistake. they are “associationist”—a different matter altogether. The constitution of the Union then only ratified the pluralism that had preceded it. and they will start four neighborhood associations.

and the future of the project is far from determined at this time. and thus the intelligentsia it spouted. It may be added that the American Enlightenment. America has been part of a “bourgeois Protestant” axis—Amsterdam/London/Boston—that developed a tradition of relative tolerance early on. was much less anti-clerical than its European cousin —which. Whatever the outcome of this project. America has . who claims that Europe is “way ahead of the rest of the world” in seeing itself as “multi-national. To be sure.90 Religion in the New Europe the parents could fire the teachers whose instruction they disliked. This was brought home to me a couple of years ago. no infamy to be crushed). but not without significant similarities. as David Martin points out in his paper.” Hardly. a French one. and by now embracing any religious group that eschews ritual cannibalism.” No one seemed to find this phrase odd. The principle of voluntary association intensified as this axis moved westward and its tradition of tolerance embraced an everwider circle of religious groups—first within the Protestant fold. “Thank you for your interest in Germany. Obviously the project will become more difficult as the European Union expands to include ever more heterogeneous nation-states. again. But in terms of a political identity (which is Taylor’s focus) Europe is a project rather than a present reality. the European Union is a great achievement in providing an almost ironclad guarantee that no nations within it will ever go to war with each other again. An official from Brussels addressed the conference. “Thank you for your interest in Europe. Europe is certainly not “way ahead” of the United States in integrating immigrants from every conceivable ethnic and religious background. I attended a conference of young German professionals (it was advertised as no less than an Elitetagung). And. The subject of her address was the present structure of the European Union and its future plans. I imagined how odd it would be for a speaker at this conference to say. as there now is a German one. and so on? Maybe. She ended her address by saying. Thus America is indeed different. What is the integrative power of Europe?—Here I must respectfully disagree with Charles Taylor. then taking in Catholics and Jews.” Will there be a European political identity. may be related to the fact that there was no dominant “clerisy” against which Enlightened spirits could fulminate (to paraphrase Voltaire.

despite some setbacks. in England at the death of Princess Diana (when it went unquestioned that the . Their motives are often vague. (For historically understandable reasons.) Europeans have a much harder time including culturally diverse immigrants in the political identity of their nation-states.” In this connection Davie has spoken of “vicarious religion”: many people do not make use of the church.” The term “shrine” embraces every conceivable nonChristian. in Hawaii. It is not easy to be a Bavarian Muslim or a Hindu Norwegian. the major setback has been with African-Americans—who. Not surprisingly. people put together (bricoler) some sort of religious worldview. are not immigrants at all in the conventional sense. I think. yet finally quite clear: they want the church to be there as a symbolic presence. In the 1950s a public-service advertisement in the New York subway read. paradoxically. Take Germany: the state collects a church tax and hands it on to the churches. but without actively adhering to a church. in finding that such vicariousness is significant. What is remarkable that most have not including many who never set foot in a church. To be exempted from it. a similar advertisement read.Observations from America 91 been phenomenally successful in this kind of integration. non-Jewish faith.” More recently. an individual merely has to declare himself without any religious affiliation (konfessionslos). but they want it to be there—just in case it may be needed. as some sort of moral authority. is not compulsory. “Worship in the church or synagogue of your choice. many people have made use of this easy way of increasing their disposable income. even if they do not need it at this point in their lives. This tax. If one asks how religion may relate to European integration. synagogue or shrine of your choice. This Kirchensteuer amounts to about eight percent of an individual’s income tax—a not inconsiderable amount of money. “Worship in the church. one must look at the role of religion in the public space of societies. But there is also the obverse phenomenon—“belonging without believing. In most of Western Europe one finds the phenomenon described by Grace Davie as “believing without belonging”—as mentioned before. or just as a symbolic presence which one does not want to miss. unlike every other tax. The need for this symbolic presence may suddenly manifest itself in public space in moments of crisis—for example. Davie is correct.

That “patrimony. But there is a less speculative situation already at hand—the confrontation of Europe with Islam. Be this as it may. as described in Nilüfer Göle’s paper. in every European country there is an intensely separatist trend among many young Muslims. the official mourner). It is conceivable that a renewed public role of the churches would emerge if Europe were subjected to a more long-lasting crisis. One need not doubt the sincerity of European concerns for human rights in Turkey to suspect that there is also a reluctance to let a huge body of poor Muslims into the European Union—and not merely for economic reasons. With the exception of Greece. Europe is not sure whether it recognizes this identity. as it were. where Muslims almost inevitably pose a challenge to the secularism (laicité) of the republican ideology. There is a bitter irony to the Turkish story: ever since the creation of Kemal Ataturk’s republic Turkey has been proclaiming its European identity (Ataturk equated it with “civilization”)—and now. in which Islam must dominate every phase of social and political life. Latin Christendom.92 Religion in the New Europe funeral service took place in Westminster Abbey). and the more traditional view. but it will have great consequences for the political identity/identities of Europe. both within and outside its borders. after all this. Hervieu-Léger sees the possibility of a rediscovery of Europe’s “religious patrimony” in the confrontation with Islam. Vicariousness is not the same as irrelevance. and on comparable occasions elsewhere. I think that it would be more difficult to be equally optimistic about Islam in France. who fiercely reject the culture of the host country. in Sweden when the steamship Estonia sank with great loss of life (the Lutheran church became. the borders of the present European Union coincide .” of course. is that of Christendom—more specifically. Can Europe integrate Islam? Bhikhu Parekh draws an optimistic picture for Britain (and it is not irrelevant to reflect on the significance of the fact that this author occupies a seat in the House of Lords). There is also the question of the frontier with Eastern Orthodoxy. Throughout the Muslim world there is a contestation between a modernizing view of Islam. Thus it is not only in drawing the frontier of Europe against the Muslim world that religion may play a role. capable of accepting the separation of religion from the state. The outcome of this contestation is as yet unclear. And then there is the pivotal case of Turkey’s candidacy for entry into the European Union.

” a predominantly Catholic phenomenon.” best suited to the emergence of modern religious pluralism. with the advent of an “Anglo-Saxon” type of pluralism. generating its mirror image of a sacred secular republic. the question of what Martin calls “Enlightened absolutism. frankly. with its development from a benign Lutheran monopoly to a benign social-democratic monopoly. Martin suggests a useful trilogy. It sought to re-establish a sacred unity between church and society. First. And it is not a pretty picture. there is the aforementioned “bourgeois Protestantism. but on one’s philosophical or theological views.” Scandinavia. for example. . The anti-Muslim diatribes of. Conservative Catholics are quite right when they see the acceptance of this principle as a subtle form of “Protestantization.Observations from America 93 with the old borders of Latin Christendom. there was what he called the “Counter-Reformation Baroque. Its key principle is that of voluntary association. with both now undergoing parallel “secularizations. is the model case for this. it can be found in all Catholic societies of southern Europe and Latin America. am not terribly interested. In this sense. It is quite clear. though. Thirdly. Oriana Falacci may be a harbinger of things to come. French laicité is a post-Catholic phenomenon. secondly. presently left to demagogues of the far Right.” Whether one regards this as a good or a bad thing will depend. not on one’s sociological insights. Should the constitution of the European Union contain some reference to the religious history of Europe? I have no opinion on this and. Such questions are not acceptable in politically correct discourse. Can Europe integrate Greek Christendom? Samuel Huntington may have been prescient when he raised the question of whether Greece and Turkey belong in NATO—because they were not part of Western civilization as he defined it. There is also. Thus the Italian sociologist Enzo Pace has analyzed the Communist Party of Italy as a mirror image of the Catholic Church.” And the Chilean historian Claudio Veliz has written about “the cracking of the baroque dome” in Ibero-America. but this may change. David Martin’s paper draws our attention to the fact that European secularity is almost as heterogeneous as European religion. But secularity in the form of anti-clerical secularism is not only to be found in France. Indeed. that the current debate on this topic may open up a Pandora’s box of divisive questions about the nature of Europe and its future.

Muslims and Islam in Europe .

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as it once supported the Taliban). but Islam. Jews were slaughtered by Christians and their secular descendents and protected by Muslims.e.g.’ not to mention the various groups that the CIA supports. no one mentions the Tamil Tiger separatists in Sri Lanka. Hence this thesis poses a real danger of becoming a selffulfilling prophecy. even though they pioneered the use of ‘suicide bombers. in its monotheism. with its faith in the revelations of Abraham. organizations and individuals that are being targeted by the US-led ‘war against terrorism’ are Muslims (e. many in the West think that the underlying problem is not terrorism or even Islamic fundamentalism. then. a rival and inferior civilization. 14 October. The Jews remember Muslim Spain as a ‘Golden Age. In the Crusades of Christendom and at other times. not to mention its specific rules of life such as dietary prohibitions. But also because Islam is so clearly evoked by many terrorist and jihadi organizations. i. Despite official protestations to the contrary.. 2001 because it was thought to be especially relevant today). legalism and communitarianism. Yet even in that period Islam and Christendom were .TARIQ MODOOD Muslims and European Multiculturalism1 In the aftermath of the events of 11 September the rhetoric associated with Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilization’ is thick in the air (Huntington.’ Islam indeed. however. Moses. was a civilization and a genuine geopolitical rival to the West. Bin Laden remains perhaps the greatest advocate of the clash of civilization thesis. Not just because all the countries. as false as it is influential. 1993. Jesus and Muhammad. This pointing the finger at Muslims clearly will not go away and its denials—though politically important—are not believed by many Muslims throughout the world. Islam. London. belongs to the same tradition as Christianity and Judaism. The idea of Islam as separate from a Judeo-Christian West is. reprinted in The Sunday Times. particularly close to Judaism. It is.

Some identify more with a nationality of origin. One step towards inter-civilizational dialogue and less exclusive definitions of Europe and of Islam would be if we were to excavate this history. which lie at the heart of the Renaissance. There is an anti-Muslim wind blowing across the European continent. such as French. Indeed. My contention is that the claims Muslims are making in fact parallel comparable arguments about gender or ethnic equality. Reformation and modern science. others campaigns against discrimination. that Muslims turned their backs on this intellectual current. It is great tragedy. in fact. is that they are not a homogeneous group. Seeing the issue in that context shows how inescapably European and contemporary is the logic of mainstream Muslim identity politics. even though bore fruit in Western Europe.98 Religion in the New Europe not discrete. I would like to address this. One factor is a perception that Muslims are making politically exceptional. which was lost to Christendom. They borrowed and learned from each other. Muslims in Europe: a question of belonging The first thing to note about the estimated 15 million people in Europe who are subjectively or objectively Muslim. or medicine. may even be anti-Islamic). That Europe came to define its civilization as a renaissance of Greece and Rome and excised the Arab contribution to its foundations is an example of racist myth-making that has much relevance today. produced through engagement with ancient Greek texts. no exaggeration to say that the critical rationalism and humanism. nor merely competitors. Some are political but do not see their politics as being ‘Islamic’ (indeed. classical learning from Athens and Rome. Some prioritize fund-raising for mosques. the Ayatollah Khomeini is a hero and Osama bin . architecture and technology. unemployment or Zionism. such as Turkish. For some. too. and that Europeans appropriated it without acknowledgement. whether it was in relation to scholarship. was preserved by the Arabs and was carried to Western Europe—much like the institution of the university—from Muslims. philosophy and scientific inquiry. others with the nationality of settlement and perhaps citizenship. Some Muslims are devout but apolitical. culturally unreasonable or theologically alien demands upon European states. was born in Arab universities. It is.

and strongly voiced if imprecise doubts are being cast on their loyalty as citizens. There has been widespread questioning about whether Muslims can. brought in Arab capital. these questions revolve around whether Muslims are committed to what are taken to be the core European values of freedom. the same is true of the category. Chechnya. Iraq. of course. They have found themselves bearing the brunt of a new wave of suspicion and hostility. sexual equality and secularism. .’ partly dependent upon others seeing Muslims and partly causing others to see Muslims as a ‘Them. however. ‘Muslim. Afghanistan) and so are vulnerable to the anti-refugee mood and policies in the EU today. tolerance. who created a swathe of Asian millionaires in Britain. Muslims have been the principal victims of the bloodshed that has produced Europe’s asylum seekers (think of Palestine. having expressed both vulnerability and defiance. Kosovo. may coexist with other overlapping or competing commitments or aspirations. This. This sense of community may be partial.’ For many years. say. democracy. for others. Bosnia. and Muslims. be integrated into European society and its political values. and was one of the first to call for NATO action to protect Muslims in Kosovo. The category ‘Muslim. also affects Muslim residents and citizens. But just as internal diversity does not lead to the abandonment of social concepts in general. the same may be said of Kemal Ataturk or Margaret Thatcher. but it comprises an actual or latent ‘Us. ‘Christian’ or ‘Belgian’ or ‘middle-class. common circumstance and common victimhood among peoples of non-EU origin in the EU.’ then.’ or any other category helpful in ordering our understanding of contemporary Europe. Muslims have.’ Muslims in Europe do not form a single political bloc or class. In particular. Somalia. There are many reports of harassment and attacks against Muslims.Muslims and European Multiculturalism 99 Laden an inspiration. unemployed and under-employed. or are willing to. although they are disproportionately among the lowest-paid. is as internally diverse as. may depend upon context and crisis. have become a focus of national concern and debate. the most extensive and developed discourses of unity. a situation that has been thrown into sharp relief by September 11 and its aftermath.

Certainly in the UK. Each of the countries in the EU has a very different conception of what the issues are. political culture and legal system. One aspect of this is that national debates on these topics have a lesser prominence.100 Religion in the New Europe Across Europe. Another aspect is the relative lack of data about ethnicity and religious communities. Germany. many politicians. Yet this is not a simple matter of scale. a larger foreign-born population and population of non-European origin than the UK. voiced by individuals ranging from Berlusconi in Italy and the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn to the British Home Secretary.’ Europe: a diversity of national contexts The same wind might be blowing across the continent. multiculturalism or interculturalism2 —a policy suitable to where groups want to maintain some level of distinction among communities—is in retreat and ‘integration’ is once again the watchword. and so those newcomers who can show German descent are automatically granted nationality while the others are temporary guest workers or refugees: none are immigrants. who are more the objects of. Yet issues of racial discrimination. France and the UK. . the former West Germany and France have. and that such debates are less frequently led by non-whites or non-Europeans. These questions and doubts have been raised across the political spectrum. depending upon its history. yet the landscape is not uniform. have reversed most of their earlier policies. commentators—including eminent Guardian left of center intellectuals such as Hugo Young and Polly Toynbee—letter-writers and phone-callers to the media from across the political spectrum have blamed such concern on the perceived cultural separatism and self-imposed segregation of Muslim migrants. rather than participants in. the debates. David Blunkett. ethnic identity and multiculturalism have less prominence in those two countries than in the UK. once the pioneers of a certain kind of multiculturalism. in both absolute and relative terms. as well as on a ‘politically correct’ multiculturalism that has fostered fragmentation rather than integration and ‘Britishness. The Dutch. and consequently of research and literature. Of the three largest European countries. The German experience is dominated by the idea that Germany is not a country of immigration.

for example as Arab. Germany has 5 million without German citizenship. Arab French or British Indian are ideologically impossible. also has integral to it a certain radical secularism. any body of citizens to be differentially identified. marking the political triumph over clericalism. you can be of any descent but if you are a French citizen you cannot be an Arab. This includes about 2 million Turks and Kurds. is therefore seen as an ideological foe. In contrast. US-style—and now UK-style—composite identities like Turkish German. some of whom are now third-generation Germans but who until recently were excluded from citizenship by German self-conceptions of nationality as descent. This is most visible in the new French policy of banning ‘ostentatious’ religious symbols in state schools. or want to maintain ethnic solidarity in the face of current stigmatization and discrimination—then their claim to being French and equal citizens is jeopardized. If for some reason assimilation is not fully embraced—perhaps because some people want to retain pride in their Algerian ancestry. In France. In Germany. with its claim to regulating public as well as private life. a measure so clearly aimed at the use of the hijab that is seen as drawing a ‘line in the sand’ in the containment of Islam. laïcité. moreover. at least in theory. But it has a republican conception of citizenship that does not allow. if you are of Turkish descent you cannot be German. The giving up of preFrench identities and assimilation into French culture is thought to go hand in hand with the acceptance of French citizenship. The latter was defeated by pushing matters of faith and religion out of politics and policy into the private sphere. and the Muslim presence as alien and potentially both culturally and politically inassimilable. France has a history of immigration that it has proudly dealt with by a readiness to grant citizenship. out of its population of 80 million. In each case. . The French conception of the republic. Islam.Muslims and European Multiculturalism 101 Hence.

The case of Britain is the one I know in detail and can be illustrative. of difference and also. narrow definitions of racism and equality. Policy and legislation were formed in the 1960s in the shadow of the US Civil Rights Movement. While one result of this is to throw advocates of multiculturalism into theoretical and practical disarray. It was. dominated by the idea of ‘race. Watts and elsewhere. and the secular bias of the discourse and policies of multiculturalism. one aspect of which was that all colonials and citizens of the Commonwealth were “subjects of the Crown. twenty years later the position was fully reversed. It was also shaped by the imperial legacy. therefore. In contrast to continental Europe. we need to recognize that at least some of the . religious obscurantism and an unwillingness to integrate. of “the common good.’ While we should not ignore the critics of Muslim activism. it is quite mistaken to single out Muslims as a particularly intractable and uncooperative group characterized by extremist politics. the British experience of ‘colored immigration. (The right of entry was successively curtailed from 1962 so that. from National Health Service treatment to social security and the vote. Muslims have become central to these agendas even while they have contested important aspects.) The relation between Muslims and the wider British society and British state has to be seen in terms of the developing agendas of racial equality and multiculturalism. While there are now emergent Muslim discourses of equality. to use the motto of the Muslim Council of Britain. has been seen as an Atlantocentric legacy of the slave trade.” they have to be understood as appropriations and modulations of habits of thought and action already formed in anti-racist and feminist discourse.102 Religion in the New Europe The British experience Against the background of these distinctive national contexts and histories.’ more specifically by the idea of a black-white dualism. black power discourse and the inner-city riots in Detroit.” As such they had rights of entry into the UK and entitlement to all the benefits enjoyed by Britons. especially the primacy of racial identities.’ in contrast. another is to stimulate accusations of cultural separatism and revive a discourse of ‘integration. while in 1960 Britain was open to the Commonwealth but closed to Europe.

but is having to answer its critics. and anti-discrimination laws and policies began to be put into place from the 1960s. and the exclusion of Muslims but not Jews and Sikhs. nor in domestic politics generally. assume that the grounds of discrimination are ‘color’ and ethnicity. there is a growing understanding that the incorporation of Muslims has become the most important challenge of egalitarian multiculturalism. While initially unremarked upon. Jews and Sikhs are recognized as ethnic groups within the meaning of the law). prior to this. After a long period of hegemony. Muslims did. and on the whole have not been prominent in political activism of this sort. Until December 2003. Over time. . groups like Pakistanis have become an active constituency within British ‘race relations. political secularism can no longer be taken for granted.’ as in the 1991 and 2001 censuses. British equality movements The presence of new population groups in Britain made manifest certain kinds of racism. One of the effects of this politics was to highlight race. this exclusive focus on race and ethnicity. has come to be a source of resentment.Muslims and European Multiculturalism 103 latter is a politics of ‘catching up’ with racial equality and feminism. religion in Britain is assuming a renewed political importance.’ One consequence of this is that the legal and policy framework still reflects the conceptualization and priorities of racial dualism.’ whereas Middle Easterners tend to classify themselves as ‘white. initially influenced by contemporary thinking and practice in relation to antiblack racism in the United States. These provisions. enjoy some limited indirect legal protection qua members of ethnic groups such as Pakistanis or Arabs. however. and indeed. In this way. it was lawful to discriminate against Muslims qua Muslims because the courts did not accept that Muslims were an ethnic group (though oddly. racial equality discourse and politics were dominated by the idea that the dominant post-immigration issue was ‘color racism. Muslim assertiveness became a feature of majority–minority relations only from around the early 1990s.

In fact. and arguments about which labels are authentic. as expected. it would be fair to say that what is often claimed today in the name of racial equality. at worst. came to be mixed with an emphasis on black pride. Feminism. the misplacing of Muslims into ‘race’ categories and the belatedness with which the severe disadvantages of the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have come to be recognized mean that race relations are perceived. as a conspiracy to prevent the emergence of a specifically Muslim sociopolitical formation. gay and women is particularly marked among Anglophones. thus group labels. not just on allowing exclud- . Indeed. the emphasis on non-territorial identities such as black. have become a common feature of certain political discourses. as an inappropriate policy niche for Muslims. Hence. To many Muslim activists.’ The initial development of anti-racism in Britain followed the American pattern. and indeed was directly influenced by American personalities and events.104 Religion in the New Europe A key indicator of racial discrimination and inequality has been numerical under-representation. Québecois nationalism and the revival of a Scottish identity are some prominent examples of these new identity movements which have become an important feature in many countries. To see how such thinking has emerged we need briefly to consider the career of the concept of ‘racial equality. it is best to see this development of racial explicitness and positive blackness as part of a wider sociopolitical climate not confined to race and culture or non-white minorities. goes beyond the claims that were made in the 1960s. It has also become gradually apparent through these inequality measures that it is Asian Muslims and not. AfroCaribbeans. Just as in the United States the color-blind humanism of Martin Luther King Jr. for instance in prestigious jobs and public office. people have had to be (self-)classified and counted. black autonomy and black nationalism as typified by Malcolm X. and. especially those in which class politics has declined. again especially in the English-speaking world. so too the same process occurred in the UK (both these inspirational leaders visited Britain). Iris Young expresses this new political climate very well when she describes the emergence of an ideal of equality based. who have emerged as the most disadvantaged and poorest groups in the country. at best. gay pride.

) recognized and supported in both the public and the private spheres. but in adding the right to widen and adapt the national culture. with toleration of ‘difference’ in the private sphere. to include the relevant minority ethnicities. too. that the public–private distinction is crucial to the contemporary discussion of equal citizenship. requires support for both conceptions. and particularly . The two are not. and requires others to show respect for them. etc. but on the view that “a positive self-definition of group difference is in fact more liberatory. family or community. Public attitudes and arrangements must adapt so that this heritage is encouraged. It can be seen. properly construed. assumes that groups excluded from the national culture have their citizenship diminished as a result. While the former represents a liberal response to ‘difference’. – the right to have one’s ‘difference’ (minority ethnicity. alternative conceptions of equality in the sense that to hold one. The second conception. and the public and media symbols of national membership. and to ‘equality’ as encompassing public ethnicity. These two conceptions of equality may be stated as follows: – the right to assimilate to the majority/dominant culture in the public sphere. the only obstacle to which are the exclusionary processes preventing gradual assimilation. the latter is the ‘take’ of the new identity politics. This perception of equality means not having to hide or apologize for one’s origins. then.Muslims and European Multiculturalism 105 ed groups to assimilate and live by the norms of dominant groups.” Equality and difference: the public–private distinction This significant shift takes us from an understanding of ‘equality’ in terms of individualism and cultural assimilation to a politics of recognition. It sees the remedy not in rejecting the right to assimilate. For the assumption behind the first is that participation in the public or national culture is necessary for the effective exercise of citizenship. however. Multiculturalism. not contemptuously expected to wither away. the other must be rejected.

While Muslims raise distinctive concerns. So. with related notions of respect. which get progressively ‘thicker. are not deemed to be a racial or ethnic group. Nor are they protected by the legislation against religious discrimination that does exist in one part of the UK: being explicitly designed to protect Catholics. No religious discrimination The very basic demand is that religious people. While discrimination against yarmulke-wearing Jews and turban-wearing Sikhs is deemed to be unlawful racial discrimination. the logic of their demands often mirrors those of other equality-seeking groups. Muslims. when these terms are deployed? I suggest that these demands have three dimensions. It is in this political and intellectual climate—namely. should not be discriminated against in employment. should not suffer discrimination in job and other opportunities. a hijab). one of the current conceptions of equality is a difference-affirming equality.106 Religion in the New Europe to the challenge to an earlier liberal position. no less than people defined by ‘race’ or gender. or on behalf of.’ 1. are being made by. What kinds of specific policy demands. The same argument lies behind the demand for a law in Britain (as already exists in Northern Ireland) making incitement to religious hatred unlawful. a person who is trying to dress in accordance with their religion. In this respect. it covers only Northern Ireland. Religious equality So. what I understand by political multiculturalism. unlike these other faith communities. then. for example. such as Muslims. or who projects a religious identity (such as a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf. to parallel the law against incitement to racial hatred. . a climate in which what would earlier have been called ‘private’ matters became sources of equality struggles—that Muslim assertiveness emerged as a domestic political phenomenon. recognition and identity—in short. religious groups and Muslim identity politics in particular. the advances achieved by anti-racism and feminism (with its slogan “the personal is the political”) acted as benchmarks for later political group entrants.

Most Muslims reject this form of equality in which the privileged lose something but the under-privileged gain nothing. and will not create a duty upon employers to take steps to promote equality of opportunity. More specifically. taking effect from December. Accordingly. 2. .) After some years of arguing that there was insufficient evidence of religious discrimination. the hand of the British government has been forced by Article 13 of the EU Amsterdam Treaty (1999). They accept the argument for parity but believe this should be achieved by the state withdrawing its funding from all religious schools. the government has agreed in recent years to fund a few (so far. but not anti-Muslim literature. four) Muslim schools. Parity with native religions Many minority faith advocates interpret equality to mean that minority religions should get at least some of the support from the state that longer-established religions do. the government has implemented a European Commission directive to outlaw religious discrimination in employment. however. 2003. After some political battles. Muslims have led the way on this argument. which includes religious discrimination in the list of the forms of discrimination that all Member States are expected to eliminate. as well as a Sikh and a Seventh Day Adventist school. only a partial ‘catching-up’ with the existing anti-discrimination provisions in relation to race and gender.) Some secularists are unhappy about this. and have made two particular issues politically contentious: state funding of schools and the law of blasphemy. on the same basis enjoyed by thousands of Anglican and Catholic schools and some Methodist and Jewish schools. over a third of state-maintained primary and a sixth of secondary schools are in fact run by a religious group—but all have to deliver a centrally determined national curriculum. the issue between ‘equalizing upwards’ and ‘equalizing downwards’ here is about the legitimacy of religion as a public institutional presence. (In England and Wales. This is. The new legislation is confined to employment (not extended to discrimination in provision of goods and services).Muslims and European Multiculturalism 107 (The latter extends protection to certain forms of anti-Jewish literature.

public bodies should provide appropriately sensitive policies and staff in relation to the services they provide. The government inserted such a clause in the post-September 11 security legislation in order to conciliate Muslims. by making provision for and winning the confidence of. as they increasingly are in relation to race and gender. ethnic groups and young people. employers should have to demonstrate that they do not discriminate against Muslims by explicit monitoring of Muslims’ position within the workforce. Similarly. For example. targets. To take another case: the BBC currently believes it is of political importance to review and improve its personnel practices and its output of programs. advertisements. As it happened. especially in relation to (non-Muslim) schools. Positive inclusion of religious groups The demand here is that religion in general. which also sought to abolish the laws governing blasphemy. Although unsuccessful. Muslim community centers or Muslim youth workers should be funded in addition to existing Asian and Caribbean community centers and Asian and black youth workers. including its on-screen ‘representation’ of the British population. should be a category by which the inclusiveness of social institutions may be judged. or at least the category of ‘Muslim’ in particular. but some political support exists for an offense of incitement to religious hatred.108 Religion in the New Europe Muslims have failed to get the courts to interpret the existing statute on blasphemy to cover offences beyond what Christians hold sacred. among others. social and health services. were opposed to the new powers of surveillance. managerial responsibilities. It was reintroduced in a private member’s bill. outreach and so on. arrest and detention. staff training. but the provision on incitement to religious hatred was defeated in Parliament. Why should it not also use religious groups as a criterion of inclusivity and have to demonstrate that it is doing the same for viewers and staff defined by reli- . say. who. most of the latter was made into law (leading to the arrest without trial of hundreds of Muslims). mirroring the existing one of incitement to racial hatred. women. work environments. these provisions may yet make their way back to Parliament in some form. Lord Avebury. 3. by a Liberal Democrat. backed up by appropriate policies.

But it is clear that they virtually mirror existing anti-discrimination policy provisions in the UK. This was the first time this question had been included since 1851. inclusive. say. And we should recognize Muslims as a legitimate social partner and include them in the institutional compromises of church and state. say.Muslims and European Multiculturalism 109 gious community membership? In short. not the watered-down versions of legislation proposed by the European Commission and the UK government. it has the potential to pave the way for widespread ‘religious monitoring’ in the same way that inclusion of an ethnic question in 1991 led to the more routine use of ‘ethnic monitoring. We should in fact be moving in the other direction. There is no prospect at present of religious equality catching up with the importance that employers and other organizations give to sex or race. multicultural society. Asians). whose presence in British society has to be explicitly reflected in all walks of life and in all institutions. however. Nevertheless. We should be extending to Muslims existing levels of protection from discrimination and incitement to hatred. religion and politics. and may make secularists uncomfortable in Britain as well. and it was largely unpopular outside the politically active religionists. Conclusion The emergence of Muslim political agency has thrown British multiculturalism into theoretical and practical disarray. was made when the government agreed to include a religion question in the 2001 census. we should more effectively target the severe poverty and social exclusion of Muslims.’ These policy demands no doubt seem odd within the terms of. the French or US ‘wall of separation’ between the state and religion. In consultation with religious and other representatives. among whom Muslims were foremost. A potentially significant victory. and impose duties on organizations that will ensure equality of opportunity. Whether they are so included should become one of the criteria for judging Britain as an egalitarian. moderate secu- . It has led to policy reversals in the Netherlands and elsewhere. that characterize the evolving. Muslims should be treated as a legitimate group in their own right (not because they are. and has strengthened intolerant. exclusive nationalism across Europe.

today. CIDOB: Barcelona. Castells and N.110 Religion in the New Europe larism of mainstream Western Europe—resisting the wayward. A hundred years ago. ‘interculturalism’ is favored. 1 . Integración. Barcelona. Palau de Pedralbes. The political integration or incorporation of Muslims—remembering that there are more Muslims in the European Union than the combined populations of Finland. It derives from a longer English version in Political Quarterly 74 (1).’ not mere sojourners. Ireland and Denmark—has not only become the most important goal of egalitarian multiculturalism. we seem to be set for a century of the Islam–West line. radical example of France. Notes This contribution is based on a paper that was presented at ‘War and Peace in the 21st century: Constructing one diverse Europe for global security. we must rethink ‘Europe’ and its changing nations so that Muslims are not a ‘Them’ but part of a plural ‘Us.). but part of its future. where the term. B. I do not think anything different is meant by the two terms. E. January 31. Europa en construcción. indeed the destiny. Ultimately.’ in: M. of many peoples across the globe. 2004. Du Bois predicted that the twentieth century would be the century of the color line. the African American theorist W.’ organized by Fundacio CIDOB. Serra (eds. identidades y seguridad. 2003. 2 I understand that ‘multiculturalism’ is in disfavor in parts of mainland Europe. 2004. but is now pivotal in shaping the security. the proceedings of which are to be published in Spanish as ‘Musulmanes y multiculturalismo en Europe.

the conclusions I arrive at in relation to it broadly hold true for the rest of Europe as well. I shall closely examine the concrete case of Britain.4 million people refused to answer. and that it poses a long-term threat to Europe. Islam and democracy To start with some basic facts.BHIKHU PAREKH Is Islam a Threat to Europe’s Multicultural Democracies?1 Many people in Europe think that Islam is inherently incompatible with multicultural democracy.7 millions—that is. They also point to the Muslim rhetoric that is suffused with hatred of the West and of modernity itself. just under 3 per cent of its population. Nearly 400. They point to the obvious fact that very few Muslim societies are democratic. To avoid abstract generalizations and shallow sweeping remarks that characterize much of the debate on this subject. According to the census of 2001. In this paper I question this view.000 respondents even called themselves Jedis after the fictitious faith in the Star War films! Around three quarters of Muslims come from the Indian subcontinent. mainly from the rural areas of Pakistan and Bangladesh. and as many as 4. The 2001 census is not entirely reliable because the question was voluntary. and conclude that Muslims cannot be good citizens of Western democracies.6 million Muslims in a population of just under 58. Britain has around 1. This is important because some of . and conclude that the reasons for this must lie in the inherently undemocratic character of Islam. Since Britain is typical of much of Europe both in its democratic culture and its Muslim population.

and the nature and demands of citizenship. They began arriving in the early 1960s. (7) Arranged marriages. (5) Female circumcision. . compared respectively to ten and thirty-two percent in the population at large. What other challenges have Muslims presented to British democracy? For convenience. Clash of practices: Some examples and British responses (1) Halal meat in schools for Muslim children. as well as some of their demands. It mainly involves a small group of North African Muslims and has been banned with little Muslim resistance. With the qualified exception of the first.112 Religion in the New Europe their difficulties in settlement. Muslims thus have so far presented no major problems of law and order to British democracy. Those who had arrived before the ban were allowed to honor their polygamous obligations. This is freely available. and lasted barely a day or two. initially the males and later their wives and children. Under two per cent are over 65. compared to about eight racerelated riots by the Afro-Caribbeans. namely those arising out of their social and cultural practices. (3) Muslim dress at work. moral values. relatively minor. Despite some resistance from the white population. After some resistance. the migration was complete. (2) Muslim method of slaughtering animals. arise not from their religion. It has been banned since the 1980s with some but not much continuing Muslim unease. (4) Time-off for prayer from work. this has been allowed. others police insensitivity and racist marches. By the early 1990s. and almost sixty per cent are under 25. but from their unfamiliarity with the modern Western way of life. The Muslim population is relatively young. There have been four Muslim riots so far. all riots were local. This is allowed subject to certain constraints. (6) Polygamy. One of them concerned Rushdie’s Satanic Verses. They are allowed provided that they are not forced or entered into under duress. it is allowed. I shall divide them into three.

Muslim women are not prevented or discouraged from voting in elections. and respect for majority decision are by common consent some of the basic democratic values. of which there are about forty cases each year. and as of now one cannot con- . and need and merit no public funding. This is allowed. They are discouraged from pursuing certain careers. There are 5 such schools. By and large Muslims have shown considerable respect for them. but they are rebelling against this. though the percentage is lower than in the case of men. Muslim organizations also tend to be dominated by men.Is Islam a Threat to Europe’s Multicultural Democracies? 113 (8) Publicly funded religious schools. The fact that local authorities rather than the central government or schools decided policies in such matters has helped. tolerance. Christian and Jewish schools have long been funded. and naturally no Muslim Member of Parliament. (9) Withdrawal of children from schools for long visits to homeland. British Muslims have never objected to women enjoying equal civil and political rights with men. and one out of four Muslim members of the House of Lords is a woman. but Muslim schools were not. There have so far been no Muslim women parliamentary candidates. 75 Muslim schools are independent and fee-paying. Just under a fifth of Muslim local councilors are women. This is strongly discouraged and most Muslims are happy to comply. (1) Equality of races is an important Muslim value and practice. Equality of the sexes poses difficulties. freedom of expression. and do better than Muslim boys. Muslim girls go on to complete their school education. but that is changing. Public funding has been extended to Muslim schools since 1998. Clash of values Equality. Girls enjoy less social freedom. The struggle for gender equality is fought out in many families. Young girls demanding greater personal freedom are sometimes subjected to domestic and communal violence. though it is lower than in the case of Muslim boys. (10) Girls wearing hijab in schools. peaceful resolution of differences. often citing the authority of the Koran against the conventional practice of patriarchy. A fairly large percentage of them go on to university.

the older generation of Muslims did much to restrain the angry youth. British Muslims have by and large been tolerant both of internal dissent and of those practices of the wider society that they disapprove of. to be banned. and would like it to be restricted when religion is involved. but continued to complain. they need to study the Koran and attend religious classes in mosques. (5) Peaceful resolutions of differences. Outsiders mistake this as surrender to orthodoxy. they gave in. Although they were for years unjustly denied public funding for their schools.114 Religion in the New Europe fidently say that it has become an accepted norm among Muslims. Muslims wanted The Satanic Verses. They have protested vigorously when they or their religion were attacked or misrepresented in the media or by political leaders. almost all Muslims accepted the ban on polygamy and female circumcision. Some years ago when pimps. When the government proved uncompromising. They want religious discrimination to be banned along the same lines as racial and sex discrimination. Muslims relied on persuasion. or at least its paperback edition. but do not privilege it as much as the liberals do. Many British liberals are sympathetic to this idea. and were viewed sympathetically by much of the wider society. (3) Muslims are sometimes discriminated against in employment. and were unfairly discriminated against in employment and . During these riots. but they have done so peacefully. It would be interesting to see what their reaction would be if a similar book were to be published today. In order to do that. It is now conceded in response to the European directive. Their attempts to reclaim their social space were peaceful. The Rushdie affair was a good example of this. Muslims value it. (6) Respect for majority decision. and overlook its critical intentions. (2) Freedom of speech. Despite some unease. (4) Tolerance. local residents drove them away and formed vigilante groups. political pressure and peaceful protests to press the demands listed above and avoided violence. Girls rebelling against gender inequality often pit the authority of the Koran against that of the tradition. prostitutes and drug peddlers were operating in some Muslim areas. The proposal was long resisted by successive governments. with the exception of the four riots mentioned earlier. which prohibits discrimination on religious grounds.

some Muslims refuse to join the armed forces in case they have to fight other Muslims. it was raided and the police confiscated the weapons. Muslims do so willingly. The potential conflict of loyalties has so far provoked no serious debate. there is some ambiguity about what they should do when the claims of the state clash with those of the umma or the worldwide community of Islam. Even the violence surrounding the Rushdie affair was preceded by weeks of petitions. Most Muslims approved of this. Demands of citizenship In a democratic society citizens are expected to cultivate certain basic virtues. The government of the day urged the country to respect their ‘understandable sympathies for their fellow-religionists. However. The percentage of those voting in local and national elections is not much different from that in the society at large. A very small number of young Muslims fought with the Taliban. They were condemned by a vast majority of their fellow-Muslims. which is larger than for some other ethnic minorities. Four recent cases well illustrate this. which form the core of democratic culture and without which democratic institutions lose their vitality. There are 150 local councilors and eight mayors. However. (1) Loyalty to the state. who was preaching hatred of the West and urging support for Muslim terrorists. There are 4 Muslims in the House of Lords and 3 in the House of Commons.’ and the likely tensions were avoided. . Finally. (2) Participation in public affairs. had long been tolerated. they never once resorted to violence. because the number is small and the recruitment to the armed forces is voluntary. After some theological debate about Muslim obligations to a non-Muslim state. Muslims objected to the war against Iraq in 1991. slightly smaller than other ethnic minorities but not alarmingly so. public appeals and peaceful protests.Is Islam a Threat to Europe’s Multicultural Democracies? 115 other areas. I shall take each of them and examine Muslim attitude to it. The Imam of Finsbury Park mosque. who insisted that loyalty to Britain came first. British Muslims have widely accepted that they owe unreserved loyalty to it. when the mosque was recently suspected of becoming a terrorist cell. but did not mount public protests.


Religion in the New Europe

(3) Respect for parliamentary institutions. There is no open Muslim challenge to them, nor any attempt to denigrate or deny their legitimacy; in fact, the opposite is the case. A few years ago a Muslim parliament was set up to discuss issues of common concern to Muslims. It provoked some criticisms from moderate Muslims, and even greater criticism from the British society at large, which saw it as an attempt to challenge and set up a rival authority to that of the British parliament. The Muslim parliament soon became defunct, largely because of a mixture of Muslim hostility, indifference and factionalism. (4) Commitment to the country and a measure of pride in it. There is enough evidence, based on public opinion surveys, that most Muslims are proud to belong to Britain, and are committed to its stability and well-being. They appreciate the liberties and rights it gives them as well as its commitment to equality and justice, and are prepared to defend them. Common belonging is reciprocal in nature, and requires that both the wider British society and its Muslim members should see each other as part of a single community. Despite some hostility to and suspicion of Muslims, most white Britons accept them as rightful fellow-citizens whose well-being matters to them. (5) Sharing British national identity. In formal and informal ways, Islam is being increasingly interpreted in a manner that brings it closer to the central values of British democracy. Indeed, a distinctively British brand of Islam is beginning to emerge, just as France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain are throwing up their own forms of Islam. The British form of Islam obviously clashes with some aspects of the Islam that the immigrants initially brought with them. Muslim media and mosques wrestle with these conflicts, and most Muslims favor a democratic reading of Islam. There are signs that a sizeable body of Muslim youth, almost a third according to some estimates, is increasingly turning into a kind of underclass. They do badly in schools, and are either unemployed or work in poorly paid jobs. Many of them are involved in drug trafficking, prostitution, gang warfare and other criminal activities. They are alienated from both their parental and the wider British culture, nurture a sense of victimhood, and hold anarchic and even antinomian values. As yet, however, they have shown no signs of rebelling against British democratic institutions. If not handled with sensitivity

Is Islam a Threat to Europe’s Multicultural Democracies?


and wisdom, they could provide a readily mobilizable pool of discontent. British Muslims then respect and imbibe democratic values. What is true of Britain is equally true of other European countries, in all of which Muslims have shown respect for democracy and in none of which there is a history of antidemocratic protests and riots. Even the theocratic and initially popular Iranian revolution of 1979 made no dent on the European Muslims’ commitment to democracy. And the widely unpopular recant of war on Iraq did not lead to Muslim violence. They could have mounted noisy protests, sabotaged the war effort, fought with the Iraqis, or done any of the things that disaffected groups generally do. The fact that they did not do any of these things speaks volumes. It is also worth noting that nearly a third of the Muslims supported the war for several reasons. They thought Saddam Hussein a disgrace to Islam, they were keen to shake up Muslim societies and make them democratic, and some of them did not like either his anti-Shia attitudes or his suppression of religion. I have argued that by and large the vast majority of British and European Muslims have adjusted to democracy and pose no threat to it. Many people find this puzzling. They think that since the vast majority of Muslim societies are undemocratic, having either known no democracy at all or rejected it after a brief experiment, there is or must be a deeper incompatibility between Islam and democracy, and that the Muslim presence in the West must therefore one day pose a serious challenge to its democratic institutions. Their reasoning is deeply flawed. First, it ignores those countries, albeit very few, where democracy has been tried with at least some success: for example, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, for half of its political existence. Secondly, the fact that most Muslim societies are undemocratic does not mean that the blame lies with Islam. It might be one factor, but there are also others, such as their inegalitarian and in some cases feudal social structures, corrupt rulers, colonialism, a long history of external interference, and the failure to find an adequate place for religion in public life. Religion does not operate in a vacuum and its influence is mediated by that of many other factors. Hindus, who were told that their hierarchical religion and caste system ruled out democracy, have sustained it for over half a century in India. Jews faced a similar criti-


Religion in the New Europe

cism, yet Israel is a vibrant democracy in spite of its discriminatory treatment of its Arab citizens. And the Christians, who now claim to be the natural friends of democracy, were for centuries hostile to it. None of the Christian fathers thought much of democracy, not even the great Thomas Aquinas, and the Catholic Church has for centuries supported anti-democratic movements and regimes in Europe, Latin America and many other parts of the world. Christian approval of democracy is a relatively recent phenomenon, and a result of centuries of conflict. No religion is inherently incompatible with any form of economic and political institutions. Human beings want to live and flourish, and when their vital interests so require, they cut theological corners, reinterpret sacred texts, and make God do their bidding while claiming to do His. This is not to say that they can do anything they like in the name of religion, or that all religions are equally hospitable to all forms of economic and political structures. Religions do have certain structures of beliefs and practices that limit the available range of hermeneutic possibilities. However the range is relatively elastic; beliefs and practices require interpretation, which is inevitably shaped by human interests and the society’s cultural ethos; no religion that wishes to enjoy popular support can afford to go against vital human interests and aspirations. Thirdly, the fact that Muslim societies have not themselves developed stable democratic institutions does not mean that Muslims cannot live under them, because the reasons in each case are quite different. When Muslims find themselves living under democracies, they have several good reasons to adjust to them. Political survival is one; the opportunities offered by a democracy to pursue their legitimate interests and even to protest is another; the educational impact of the schools, work places, and the ethos of the wider society is yet another; and one should not underestimate the power of the media either. Many developing countries have failed to create the modern capitalist economy, but that has never prevented their diasporic members from adjusting to and flourishing in the capitalist West. Fourthly and finally, the way in which a group behaves when it is in a majority is often quite different from the way it behaves when a minority. Many diasporic Hindus in the West want a Hindu state in India, but vehemently protest when any of the Western societies

they do have some difficulty coping with a multicultural society. The remarkable military successes of early and medieval Islam gave it a triumphalist air. This is a stark contrast to Christianity. Their main concern is to secure and enjoy the freedom to practice their religion and to lead the life of their choice. When they are in a minority. the weak and the dispossessed. Islam sees itself as one that is destined to rule and dominate the world.Is Islam a Threat to Europe’s Multicultural Democracies? 119 shows the slightest sign of favoring a particular religion and compromising its secular character. and confirmed in the eyes of its adherents their belief in its absolute superiority. However it sees itself as embodying all that is true in them and going beyond them. The current constant invocation of its past glory and the desperate desire to revive it is one obvious example of it. The Koran is believed to be unique in being the literal. though not in its historical practice. superseding all other religions including Judaism and Christianity. and they have therefore a strong pragmatic and even a moral reason to be loyal to it. Muslims are supposed to have a positive duty to convert the followers of other religions. It claims to represent the final and definitive revelation of God. but they are believed to be inferior and more like early versions of Islam. and not really a religion at all. that option is no longer available to them. Unlike almost any other religion. Religions of the book do deserve respect. Muslims are convinced of the absolute superiority of Islam. This spirit of Islamic superiority is reflected in many of its beliefs and practices. direct and unmediated word of God. and there is no theological basis for it either. Far more than the followers of any other religion. they are subject to the strong temptation to press for an Islamic state with all its undemocratic potential. Hinduism is dismissed as idolatrous. Democracy allows this. a religion of the poor. but they are not themselves free to convert to anoth- . which is in its initial inspiration. Islam and multiculturalism Although Muslims do not have much of a problem living in a democracy. When they are in a majority. It is true that Islam reveres the prophets of Judaism and Christianity and accepts both as worthy religions. This is even truer of Muslims because of their distinction between dar-al-Islam and dar-al harb and their tendency to establish a close relationship between religion and the state.

humility and open-mindedness. they also resent it because it puts them on a par with other religions and cultures. to be welcomed only because it gives them the desired autonomy. This has two important consequences. And while they were free to convert to Islam. That is seen as apostasy and treason. and is now more open than before to a genuine interreligious and intercultural dialogue. However. they tend to take a narrow and static view of multiculturalism. it means not a vibrant and creative interplay of different cultures and religions under conditions of equality. British Islam is no doubt changing. They may marry non-Muslim girls. Over time Western Muslims should not only become as good democratic citizens as the rest of the popula- . it still has a long way to go before it can enthusiastically participate in the creative tensions and controversies of a multicultural society in a spirit of curiosity. Even in the self-confident Ottoman Empire where Jews and Christians enjoyed considerable tolerance. practices and history. but do not allow others to marry theirs. their attitudes to multicultural society are likely to become positive. meriting severest punishment in this world and the next. and their youth absorbs Western liberal culture. Thanks to all this. they were treated as second-class citizens. As the Muslims reap the benefits of multicultural societies. Most Muslims are anxious that others should learn about their religion and appreciate its great insights. Firstly. and exposes them and their children to other religions and secular cultures. Much of this cannot be attributed to the current Muslim feeling of siege or fear of loss of identity. It has for many of them neither an intrinsic cultural or moral significance nor a theological basis. denies their absolute superiority.120 Religion in the New Europe er. Muslims tend to take a largely pragmatic view of multicultural democracy. They welcome it largely because it gives them the freedom to retain their religious identity and to familiarize others with their beliefs. Muslim attitude to multicultural society is one-sided. they were strictly forbidden to convert Muslims or to marry their women. For many of them. but they have themselves little or only limited interest in other religions. However. but either a multicultural dialogue on Islamic terms or a compartmentalized social universe in which different religions and cultures live out their ghettoized existence. Secondly. and expect those marrying within Islam to convert to it.

With the exception of Spain and parts of Eastern Europe. . it will most certainly have a profound impact on the rest of the Muslim world. Their sometimes friendly and sometimes hostile relations have bonded them far more deeply than they realize or acknowledge. Glyn Morgan and Jocelyn Cesari for their helpful comments. and has shaped their identity as well. its cultural interlocutor. Nancy Rosenblum. They now need to find new ways of cultivating civic amity within the very heart of Europe. Each has been the other’s other. Need for better understanding Islam has long been an important part of Europe and has shaped its cultural identity. Note 1 Some parts of this article were first delivered as a lecture at a joint meeting of the Centers for European Studies and Middle Eastern Studies of Harvard University. they have hitherto interacted at a distance and outside the boundaries of Europe. I am most grateful to Professors Nathan Glazer. I have shown why there are strong reasons for optimism.Is Islam a Threat to Europe’s Multicultural Democracies? 121 tion. but should also feel fully at home in multicultural societies. As this happens. Europe too has been a significant presence in Muslim societies. and should hopefully initiate a movement for multicultural democracies there.

“The role of religion in European integration” is a title that invites us to rethink the issue of religion as a kind of positive force. but also in relation to Islamic presence. namely as a hindrance to European integration. .” Seen from the angle of Islamic religion. On the other hand. European integration or Europeanness means the final accomplishment of a secular project for those Turks who embrace European values of modernity. we usually think of it in negative terms. This is first of all because when we refer to the role of religion in European integration and to Islam in particular. Secondly. European Public Space and Civility It is puzzling to ascribe to religion a role in European integration. a person with a Turkish background would be inclined to tackle this issue in a specific way. Therefore. especially to me as researcher on Islam. and they still are.NILÜFER GÖLE Islam. In consequence. As you know Turkish modernists were uncompromisingly secular since the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. not only because today Islam is used (and misused) as a political force of opposition for Muslim agency. For me. from this particular historical and cultural background it is puzzling to think of European citizenship as integration through religion.” thereby necessitating containment and exclusion. not only from the dominant perspective of Christian heritage. the role of religion in respect to the European Union acquires a different meaning. but also because it is perceived by many of the Europeans as the different “other. it is a challenge to encourage rethinking the role of religion in the construction of Europeanness. a positive value—Danièle Hervieu-Léger called it “le travail civilisationnel. and with a Turkish background. this appears to be a much more difficult task.

but by an involved society at large. and the necessity of defining and maintaining the frontiers of Europe was evoked by many politicians. It was perhaps on this occasion that the identity of the European Union and the meaning of Europeanness were debated for the first time. . intellectuals and members of society. or in reference to political values. Knowing that the question of borders is not merely a question of geographic belonging. It is not religion that has disappeared from modern life. It was interesting to observe that. Turkey as a candidate EU member state triggered a public debate in many European countries. divided European public opinion. As Marcel Gauchet and Charles Taylor have claimed. we are observing a process of disinstitutionalization of religion today. The discussions on her candidature for membership in the European Union during the Copenhagen summit (2002) well illustrated the importance of Islam in European public debate.” might be seen as translating this tacit desire and fear within the Dutch context of migration. the ways in which governments deal with the presence of Islam in Europe becomes a crucial issue for the construction of European political values. but its institutional forms of representation.Islam. but also of cultural and civilizational differences. If we leave Islam aside for a moment and think of the role of religion in the contemporary modern world. Religion in the modern world has become a much more personal and spiritual experience. The question whether European unity should be defined by a common heritage of Christian religion and Western civilization. not only by politicians and technocrats. one conceptual problem that we face is that we no longer can define religion through its institutional representations. as Turkey moved closer to Europe. and of whether religion can provide us with common values to define European citizenship. European Public Space and Civility 123 The presence of Islam through migration in European countries. addresses new issues of difference and tolerance to Western democracies. apprehensions within European public opinion were made explicit with respect to Islam. but also through Turkey’s candidacy for the European Union.2 Indeed the title of Paul Scheffer’s article. People can have a personal religious experience and yet belong to a collective group or to collective movements. multiculturalism and democratic inclusiveness. “An open society needs borders. But this does not mean that it is limited to the private sphere.

to a particular confession and to a nation-state. which has been traditionally a binding force among those who were belonging to a locality. Islamic intellectuals. the contemporary politicization of Islam engendered a displacement of the authority of the religious classes (ulema). the experience of Islam today works as a horizontal social imaginary bonding that connects many different Muslim actors in different contexts. many will join powerful religious communities. authorities. rather than referring to present day religious practices and values. although there is a strong individualist component to the religious experience in modern times. today becomes a reference point for an imaginary bond between those Muslims who are socially uprooted. or religious authority. In this respect. On the other hand. including political militants. On the one hand. I think the process of deinstitutionalization of religious experience is equally valid for Islam. Rather than being a descendant of given religious structures. religious experience becomes part of “expressive individualism. because it represents socially disembedded forms of religiosity and. the previous generation. as a consequence. Islamism refers to the modern production. this meant a democratic opening of the interpretation of religious texts to the public at large.”2 In the modern age. elaboration and diffusion of this horizontal social imaginary bonding in spite of the historical distinctions between spiritual Sufi and canonized Shariat Islam.4 So which religion do we refer to in relation to European project? Very often. in which people grasp themselves and a great number of others as existing and acting simultaneously. or national and confessional allegiances. and conservative Saudi Arabia and revolutionary Iran. on the contrary. we refer to a prior Christian heritage. becomes a matter of personal choice. Furthermore. it becomes important to find one’s own way as against a model imposed from outside—be it from society. that is. this will not necessarily mean that the content will be individuating. “‘horizontal’ forms of social imaginary. Islam. it brought about .” that is. and women. acting together and simultaneously.3 As Taylor rightly reminds us.124 Religion in the New Europe Charles Taylor describes social disembeddedness as a condition for a different kind of social imaginary. Shia and Sunnite Islam. contemporary Islam shares some common themes with modern forms of religious experience.

as we know from the classical sociological literature. national cultures and popular customs. we can observe a growing public visibility of Islam and its claims for public visibility in Europe and elsewhere. as Islam becomes de-traditionalized in the hands of Islamism in particular. social mobility is also a precondition for entering into a state of having a predisposition to a modern personality. and especially abused and taken out of context. to the core of big Western cities. Islam is moving into new life spaces. which is used. and cut off from its referential context of the Koran. It is sufficient to trace the trajectory of contemporary Muslim actors empirically to see their move from rural to urban cities. We are therefore observing both personal and collective appropriations of Islam. of course. and in the face of the modern secular world in general. emphasizing the fact that these people are socially uprooted. not through religious institutions. anachronistic. Islam today is constructed. We often speak of this process or move as something negative. Laypersons who speak the language of Islam without the institutional authority of religious schools and knowledge find legitimacy in their activism. . Islamism operates as a sort of ideological amalgam between different schools of Islam. Islamist discourse is simplistic. from the margins to the center of politics and.Islam. which leads to alienation and terrorism. reinterpreted and carried into public life through political agency and cultural movements. purely political or revolutionary level. a new source of legitimacy for the Islamic idiom. Activism and terrorism provide. Even though this does not take place on an institutional. or rather impose. However. through migrations. Who will decide what is licit and illicit in Islam? Who has authority over the interpretation of religious texts? Who can give a “fatwa” and declare a “jihad”? These questions become very problematic. European Public Space and Civility 125 a vulgarization of religious knowledge and sources. but we still have a tendency to think about it as belonging to a locality and without any claim to universalism. Therefore radical Islamism does not subscribe to the traditional interpretations of religion. At the same time the presence of Islam in public life and in the shaping of social imagery and daily practices of Muslims is increasing. in favor of the political ideology of Islamism.

Those Muslims who embrace a more radical form of affirmation of their religious and cultural identity. It is not the distance from but. European life experiences. rather. is an affirmative reconstruction of identity. urban habitat and media. through which they reconstruct their sense of belonging to Islam. is being carried from the private to the public realm. a kind of syncretic Islam getting into action. perform and openly claim their religious identity and habits in the public. their religious experience is of a new kind. however. religious. a collective social imaginary. This new phenomena connected with Islamism cannot be derived from confessional or national schools of Islam. What we observe in contemporary forms of political Islam.126 Religion in the New Europe We now need to consider how this can be linked to religion. The presentation of a religious self. their social origins and local towns. Radicalism is mostly a feature of those groups who by their experience of mobility and displacement got acquainted with secular and Western ways of political thinking and urban living. Islam provides a framework for the orientation of this identity. albeit personally and collectively. Consequently. What we are witnessing now is a shift from a Muslim identity to an Islamist identity. It is. it is not directly handed over by community. Their Islam is not linked to a territory or to a tradition. they carry out. and in a form of conflictual engagement with the Western and secular values of modernity. on the contrary. the familiarity with and proximity to modern forms of life. urban. It is a kind of social imaginary. Modern techniques of self-presentation and regimes of communication are acquired in public spaces such as schools. a . or state institutions. if not a break with. Yet Muslim actors are not in conformity with the national and secular rules of public spaces. I am trying to argue therefore that being a Muslim and being an Islamist are not the same thing. like Shia Islam or Sunni Islam. This is true for migrant Muslims in Europe. rather. education and politics that trigger a return to religious identity and its political expressions. which is put forward. Disembeddedness and social mobility of Muslim actors means they experience a sense of distancing from. There is a sociological paradox behind the phenomenon of Islamism. are at the same time those who leave their local origins behind and enter into new public. associative life. but also for recently urbanized social groups in Muslim countries.

It is personally carried as a bodily sign. Veiling is usually taken as a sign of the debasement of women’s identity.Islam. They turn the veiling. They are crossing the frontiers of that interior space and gaining access to higher education. an attribute for potential public discredit. The visibility of religious symbols and performances informs the public of the radical transformation that is taking place. as Islamists. It provides a cognitive framework for the personal selffashioning and collective orientation of the movement. passive and docile posture in the face of modern power. the radicals would claim. religion needs to be liberated from its traditionally subservient.5 Islam is used as a source of orientation and distinction to represent and to achieve a higher form of life. Veiling thus becomes both a personal and collective expression of Islamic religiosity. as a sign of their inferiority to men. The politicization of religion and a personalized religiosity go hand in hand. more precisely. But for that purpose. from the concealment of Muslimness and its cultural attributes to collective and public disclosure of Islam.. by claiming their right to prayer sites and hours in work places. etc. Those Muslim women who are no longer confined to a traditional role and to an enclosed space are now readopting this sign of passivity and seclusion within the interior domestic spaces. specific food regimes. Religion provides an autonomous and alternative space for the collective self-definition of Muslims in their critical encounter with modernity. From a symbol of stigmatization (as a sign of backwardness and gender inequality). European Public Space and Civility 127 framework in Charles Taylor’s sense that incorporates a set of crucial qualitative distinctions that provide a sense of good and higher forms of life. into a subaltern advantage. They also convey a sense that they are more zealous and meticulous in their religious observance than those who confine their religiosity to the private sphere. urban life and public agency. they are changing the meaning of veiling as they carry it into new modern spaces. and. they become overtly identifiable as Muslims and publicly assertive. but also imagined as a source of collective empowerment and horizontal bondage among those who distinguish themselves as Muslims. it is transformed into a positive identity affir- . hierarchical authority and canonical interpretations. As a result. a process made possible by the weakening of religious ties to their traditional context. By wearing a veil and a beard.

Thus far. cemeteries and . they have learned techniques of self-representation in public spaces and gained universal. albeit unintentionally. and public space. workplaces and parliament. but. fashion consciousness and language) to their class mates than to their first generation home-bound. uneducated mothers. To sum up. improvise and negotiate the headscarf in the public sphere are at the same time. The young girls who adopt. I have briefly depicted the ways in which Islam is becoming an identity reference for new Muslim figures who are bestowed with a double cultural capital. it also transgresses Muslim communitarian values of morality. altering the symbol of headscarf and images of Muslim women. a process through which the profane and sacred realms are intermingled. The Islamic presence in public therefore challenges the strict separation between private religion and public secularism. class. not only schools. bestowing Muslimness with a higher sense of self.128 Religion in the New Europe mation (such as “black is beautiful”). I have tried to shift the perspective of our analysis from convictions and values of persons and groups to a notion of space. common space. but also public gardens. a double cultural capital. Because they have a double cultural capital. Young migrant girls who adopt the Islamic headscarf in French and German schools. on the other hand. they define themselves through their religiosity. youth associations and urban leisure space. but on the other hand. prestige and power (as best exemplified by the Iranian revolution). On the one hand. Secondly. universities. Through a collective affirmation of Islamic identity. secular knowledge. The case of young Muslim women in Europe illustrates well the undergoing transformations of the meanings of the symbol of the headscarf. are closer in many respects (namely youth culture. Religion is carried into public life. a historical sense of loss of dignity and humiliation is turned into a search for distinction. On the one hand. it is not in conformity with liberal gender presentations. the practice of veiling is not in continuity with prevailing Muslim cultural habits and pre-established religious conventions. The regulations of public space become controversial. they can circulate between different activities and spaces such as home. namely secular and religious. What we therefore observe is that these new figures of European Muslims have a double belonging.

for example. The public sphere undergoes changes. Turkish forms of the state control of religion turn out to be a model of reference. and therefore political acknowledgement of Islam as independent from the problem of immigration. The “headscarf debate” in France. an Islamic religious organization means the public recognition of the Islamic presence in France. We are reminded of the historical heritage of laicité and the principle of neutrality in public school system by the protagonists who argued for banning all religious signs. and its normative values. as well as a space created by means of State initiative. We therefore cannot speak of the public sphere as a pre-established. Yet the terms of the debate were discussed at a national level and with an emphasis on French exceptionalism. however. when Muslims invest in and make claims for religious rules in conformity with Islamic religion. With reference to Europe.” considered to be a French exception. namely “laicité.” one you teach through legislation—a kind of authoritarian intervention. Newcomers reveal the limits of the public sphere as constituted and imagined by the society and its legislators at a given time. However.6 On the one hand. where. provoked a larger public debate on the school system as well as on French secularism. you forbid the veil? Ironically this reminds me of Turkish secularism that was historically adopted from French laicité. the government’s project of setting up a new French Council for the Muslim Religion has already produced a change in relations between the French State and Islam. On the other hand.Islam. immutable arena. What we face today as a political problem is the issue of the public visibility of religion. Secular conceptions and frontiers of the French public sphere are a subject of public controversy and are undergoing a radical change in respect to the problems of integration of Muslim immigrants. rather than with a future-oriented European perspective. undergo a similar influence. . it also means a space for religion in public. the question is: Are we going to handle this issue through a kind of “didactic democracy. Or do we have any other way of thinking about democracy as a way of inventing new forms of commonness? The definition of a new commonness requires a reconsideration of the issue of public space on a European scale. The inclusion of new social groups necessitates a redefinition of its frontiers. for instance. Today. European Public Space and Civility 129 beaches.

6 The Minister of Interior. We still take this public space for granted. however. this public space has been defined by the nation-state and by institutionally defined religions. 1989. Therefore. 84. succeeded in persuading rival Muslim organizations to create a New French Council for the Muslim Religion whose members were first elected on 13th of April Harvard University Press. The organization of the Jewish consistory which was set up under Napoleon in 1806 is given as an example of the French state regulating its relations with other major religions. Conceiving a European public space and a European civility could help us to go beyond the national scale and the confrontational definitions of civilization and focus on daily life experiences and interactions. 112.asso. Nicolas Sarkozy. 2002. 4 Ibid. this commonness as European public space? Not only by means of legislation. . p. the articles published in the French.ataturquie. Harvard University Press. The Making of the Modern Identity. Cambridge. see also the Internet site www. Cambridge. but also as a common value space to be shared and imagined. 2 Charles Taylor. Can we open it up? Redefine this publicness. The aim is to develop a home-grown and liberal Islam. Varieties of Religion Today. Sources of the Self. p. borders that Europe is now trying to transgress were imposed by state institutions and religious institutions. Why not imagine European public space as an ethical and physical frame that enables us to develop a common civility drawn from liberal pluralism as well as a plurality of religious experiences? Notes 1 Cf. German and Turkish press during the Copenhagen summit. The Council represents the first ever unified body authorized to speak on behalf of the five million French Muslim community. 3 Ibid.130 Religion in the New Europe Until now. 5 Charles Taylor.

The Salafism (fundamentalist religious radicalism) disseminated nowadays among teaching networks. emphasizes the loss of cultural identity in traditional Islam. Spiritualism is promoted by the return of Sufist communities or even social predication (as when Imams preach to the youth in underprivileged neighborhoods to help them out of delinquency. philosophy and even theology in favor of a scriptural reading of the sacred texts and an immediate understanding of truth through individual faith. and usually financed by Saudi Arabia. Today’s religious revival is first and foremost marked by the uncoupling of culture and religion.OLIVIER ROY Islam in Europe: Clash of Religions or Convergence of Religiosities? Today’s religious revival among Europe’s Muslims is no importation of religious traditions born in the Middle East or the wider Muslim world. No surprise then that. or those who shall be . It is a mistake to think that the phenomena of religious radicalism (Salafism) or political radicalism (Al Qaeda) are mere imports of the cultures and conflicts of the Middle East. it is a movement based on dogmatism. whatever the religion may be. Rather. it reflects many of the dynamics of contemporary American evangelical movements. Religion is a mere faith and a system of norms marking the barrier between believers (the community of saints. communitarianism and scripturalism. It is above all a consequence of the globalization and Westernization of Islam. to the detriment of educational and religious institutions. or American churches preach to young Blacks to fight drugs and delinquency). instead of being tolerant and liberal. This explains the affinities between American Protestant fundamentalism and Islamic Salafism: both reject culture.

both Catholicism and Orthodoxy consider religion to be profoundly anchored in a culture that cannot be shared by non-believers (hence the Pope’s call for the acknowledgement of the Christian roots of Europe. to be more precise.e. that is. both the believer and the non-believer. which are cultural rather than linked to actual religious practice).e. on the other. officially. cultural representations. for the believer. and even modes of religiosity: the relationships that believers entertain with their religion. A distinction between religion as a corpus of beliefs—as theology—and culture is not usually made by the man in the street. to define what. being in a minority. on the one hand. for a Muslim. or being an immigrant. Suddenly. In countries with a Muslim tradition. to try to define . but also of ideas. The success of all forms of neo-fundamentalism can be explained by the fact that. very few people practice it. It is easy to fast during Ramadan in Afghanistan. Pakistan and Egypt. to the extent that religious belief is lost sight of. and there are even instances of societies like Iran. experience religion as some sort of cultural given: by and large their society organizes and provides the space for religious practice. as society is organized around it for as long as necessary. but where. to his thinking. paradoxically. it vindicates the loss of cultural identity and allows a “pure” religion to be conceptualized independently of all its cultural variations and influences. compels him to ultimately think about the basic nature of Islam. Therefore. But immigration has suddenly created a divide between religion and society. even if a person does not want to. The first point. it not only refers to the movement of men and women. belongs to the religious world. i. essentially linked to the issue of Islam in Europe. between religion and culture. and a given territory and culture. He is forced to objectify Islam. is the uncoupling of Islam. This globalization of Islam also takes place in traditional Muslim countries. to rediscover or. or the less convinced believer. In the countries of origin religion is always embodied in a culture. and it is difficult. where. by ordinary believers. On the other hand. to distinguish between what belongs to the cultural tradition—and to some extent to social conventions—and what belongs to dogma. Anybody wishing to observe Ramadan can do so without any problem.132 Religion in the New Europe saved) and others. everything is done in order for believers to observe Ramadan. in fact. a Muslim living in Europe has somehow to reinvent. i.

and modes of consumption. “Living with Faith. they are still here. In fact. because there is a need for such an objective definition. A lot of ink has been spilled in France on the resistance to globalization. Americanization. behavior. the knowledge they produce is no longer practical for the believer. and. or to be more precise.” “Being a Muslim in the West. is the uncoupling of religion and culture. who have educated themselves in Islam. if you care to look at the titles of religious books down the years. This is exactly what I mean by “globalization. “What Does it Mean to be a Muslim?”.Islam in Europe: Clash of Religions or Convergence of Religiosities? 133 the essence of Islam as objectively as possible. are written by non-scholarly authors. and the need to define a religion with criteria that are purely religious. as old as religion itself. century after century.” etc. their traditional and scholarly knowledge does not provide the answers the new believer is looking for. However. The first significant aspect of this phenomenon of people moving from one country to another. people of a secular tradition with a very modern outlook. This does not mean that the ulemas. Everyone is faced with the need to invent. Religious literature is.” “The Pearls of Knowledge.. such as “The Explanation of Secrets. of course. however. systems of thought or practices. it is simply a mode of consumption that is not linked to any culture. from the beginning to the present time. the scholars. with titles such as “What Is Islam?”. taste. books with very similar titles. have disappeared. “How to Experience Islam?” There is a wealth of literature nowadays that tries to provide an objective definition of what Islam is.” Globalization means uprooting from given societies in an attempt to develop systems of thought that are no longer linked to a given culture.e. therefore. Let me give you a few actual examples. A lot of these books. because there is no longer any mediation of knowledge by the ulemas. it is nothing of the sort. Yet.” Sometimes they are metaphors: “The Pearls of the Sea. define and objectify what religion means to them. you will find. i. A lot of them are engineers. the rejection of fast food and McDonald’s restaurants. and that .” etc. for some time now we have seen titles appearing without precedent in religious literature: “What is Islam?”. and totally internal to the religious domain. or legal experts. because there is no longer any evidence of religious belief. which are seen as imports of American culture.

they are more or less the same as the ones found in the most popular Western denominations: Catholicism. A born again believer is someone who rediscovers faith and decides that from then on his or her life will be put totally in the . insisting on a metaphoric reading of the Koran. There are. i. The problem is not “What does Islam say about this or that?” The history of Islam has given rise to a lot of liberal scholars who have written books offering solutions: solutions. Therefore. on spiritual experience. even Judaism.134 Religion in the New Europe is adaptable to absolutely everywhere. It is perhaps the most striking phenomenon of contemporary religiosity in all denominations. than on legacy. In France. culture. The problem is: Who reads Professor Arkoun? Who buys his books? What influence does he have on the Muslim youth of today? The real question is not an intellectual or a theoretical question about Islam. there is Professor Mohamed Arkoun. This is nothing new. In our contemporary world we are now witnessing the uncoupling of religion and culture. The Westernization of Islam is not necessarily through “aggiornamento. Protestantism.e. etc. I have to stress this point. for example. i. solutions insisting on the spirit and the values more than norms and judicial rules.” or theologian liberalization. we see forms of religious revival leading to the “born again” phenomenon. authority and theology. when asking the question “Under what conditions is Islam compatible with Western values?” we are asking the wrong question. of course. people are born again into their religion. because it is what preoccupies people the most. contemporary believers put far more stress on faith. who is both a renowned philosopher of French culture and a scholar of Islam. the real issue here is about the tangible practices of Muslims. which is why it works. for instance. It can also assume fundamentalist forms. on individual and personal rediscovery of religion. and always have. i. Today. for the large part.e. These thinkers do exist. a form of Islam’s Westernization. and not what we call the sociological believers. What forms and religious beliefs are in circulation among young Muslims today? The forms of religiosity witnessed in Islam today are transversal.e. It is these “born again” believers who now define religious belief. transmission. Modern fundamentalism is also a form of the globalization of Islam. liberal and modern thinkers in Islam. solutions insisting on the message rather than the letter.

They cannot be found attending mass on Sundays or attending seminaries. for example. the theological debates. except. why the debate about the place of religion in the European Constitution. everywhere. As for religiosity.” Religion is easy to define: the corpus. for instance.e. They are not seeking to understand. the interpretations. Therefore. the revealed texts. the religious establishment—more specifically. they are not seeking an authority. This explains. However. the seminaries and the vocations are losing ground and fewer and fewer people want to become priests. Therefore. is totally misplaced. among the charismatic fundamentalist protestant movements. today. And. where faith is first of all experienced as an individual experience and a break with tradition. the other is the return of religiosity. is far more important than religion. That is why this debate is of no concern to anyone. There is said to be a return to religious belief in Christianity nowadays and millions of young people go to meet the Pope every year.Islam in Europe: Clash of Religions or Convergence of Religiosities? 135 perspective of this rediscovered faith. far from witnessing an expansion of Middle-Eastern and traditional Islam. which would assert itself against an equally traditional Chris- . It is very visible. he or she will rebuild his or her self in his or her relationship to that faith. totally beside what is happening nowadays. of course. an enjoyment of religious fervor. What we today label as Islamic fundamentalism. This is what I call “religiosity. rather than a form of continued legacy. They seek an immediate experience. etc. but two totally different trends: one is the crisis of religions as institutions and cultures. be it Protestant or Catholic. what we have is not a contradiction. it is the manner in which the believer lives his relationship to religion. the dogmas. They are looking for a spiritual and personal experience. is happening not only in the Western world. Today. under the same conditions as the revival of religious belief in Christianity. The return of religiosity acts against religion. in my opinion. religious revival everywhere takes the form of a break with tradition. The young people gathering to see the Pope during the world meeting of Catholic youth are not looking for theological explanations. the Catholic establishment. religiosity. but also in a lot of Islamic countries. at the same time. the re-Islamization. i.

Movies. for believers to find their way to salvation. poetry. I mention fundamentalism because it is the subject that concerns people the most. Why forbid the use of songbirds? Why forbid the use of kites? The rationale of the Taliban was very simple: this world is simply made available to the believer to prepare for his or her salvation. and that is the issue at stake. not the Western world. everything resembling spectacle and entertainment. What are we talking about? The Salafi or neofundamentalist movements are above all movements that criticize traditional Muslim cultures. They are anti-cultural before they are anti-Western. “Salafi” means “a return to the way of the pious ancestors. or the use of kites. Let me use an example we have all heard about.” i.” from the official name of the doctrine in Saudi Arabia. even though such Muslims form the vast majority of Muslims living in the Western world. tapes. . The role of the state is not to put in place a fair society. A liberal Muslim worries no one. This is a theme found in all forms of fundamentalism.136 Religion in the New Europe tianity. What the Taliban were fighting was not Christianity. but the traditional Afghan culture.” but this is merely a question of terminology. They forbade forms of cultural activities that were very traditional among Afghans. but to create opportunities. When the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in 1996. such as caged songbirds at home. Radical movements may be pathological. novels were all forbidden. dance. Personally. what we are seeing is the globalization and Westernization of Islam from within. it is pathology. as often as not. that defines good health. What do we call Islamic fundamentalism today? We use other names: some call it “wahhabism. not only because this minority is making headline news. They waged a cultural war: they forbade music. They themselves use “Salafis” as their preferred terminology. and does not appear to be an issue. including in its most fundamentalist forms. even if they are coercive. Westerners could travel freely in Afghanistan between 1996 and 1998. but. I am going to discuss a minority.e. etc. all forms of games. or the absence of it. I use the term “neo-fundamentalism.. but also because radical movements are often symptoms of underlying trends. their enemy was not the Western world: they had an excellent relationship with the Americans and foreigners. the Taliban in Afghanistan. of the prophet and the prophet’s successors.

This rationale is pushed to its limits. in fact. one had to begin again from scratch. Therefore. And even if this type of fundamentalism has appeared in geographical zones that are. it is easier to ban the birds. meant strict observance of religious obligations—for instance. to be a Muslim. Taliban Afghanistan—it is perfectly suited to a modern loss of cultural identity. Indeed. and the Wahhabi Imams or Salafis. i. by the following reasoning: either culture belongs to religion and therefore culture is not needed or culture is something different from religion. It considers not having any cultural identity as positive. from the top of the tree. which is a sin. you will climb up the tree to untangle it because you paid good money for it. to be a believer. you will have to stop immediately and start all over again. This type of fundamentalism is also a major cause of the loss of cultural identity. If interrupted when praying. The Inquisition never punished people because they went against the social order. of all that is not linked to religious practice and the seeking of salvation. praying five times a day. and therefore must be eliminated because it distracts you from religion. Why run the risk of burning in hell for a kite? Kites are banned. On the contrary. The Inquisition’s obsession was with salvation. the Inquisition approach was to allow believers to find their salvation and then. If you are a good Muslim. not punishment. they could be handed over to the secular order. The Mullahs. it vindicates the loss of cultural identity. in some forms of American Protestantism. possibly. It is the standard line of thought and can even be found. not surprisingly. rather tribal societies—Saudi Arabia. since then they cannot bother you and distract you from your duties. this form of religiosity cancels out culture.e. for the Taliban. It offers young people an excuse for their crisis of cultural identity. The Taliban argument is the following: if you are praying and the bird in your room starts singing. So. for instance. if it does. this denial of all distraction. is a line of thought found in a lot of religions. however. However. who live in . Same thing with kites: a kite can get tangled in trees and. you can look over your neighbor’s wall and you run the risk of seeing a woman without her veil.Islam in Europe: Clash of Religions or Convergence of Religiosities? 137 This kind of coercion was found during the Inquisition of yesteryear. you will be distracted and your prayer will be nullified. But we are not sure you are a good Muslim and that you will have the strength to start all over again.

we express the issues of religious conflicts in cultural terms.” It is a coherent and structured discourse. because there is no culture any more. you don’t feel European. and young people are not joining fundamentalist groups because the Palestinian issue is not resolved. your grandfather came from Morocco. it vindicates the disappearance of the original cultures. This is wrong and pointless. That has nothing to do with it. an association called the Tabligh say when they go preaching from door to door. there is no civilization. Today. and sees himself as one. But they are people who consider that we live in a world where Islam is not embodied by a society or a territory and that this is an opportunity rather than a loss. the Islam of the Sufis. as it puts you in the best possible situation to become a real Muslim. You don’t feel anything in particular. It would be a huge mistake to link modern forms of fundamentalism to the idea of a clash of cultures. They tell them: “You have not inherited your grandfather’s Islam because your grandfather did not pass his Islam on to you. fundamentalism is not at all the protest of an original culture. it is really good that you have lost the traditional culture of your family. or a clash of civilizations. they are not terrorists. It is not a Middle-Eastern issue. on the contrary. your grandfather claims to be a Muslim. for example. because your grandfather’s Islam is not the right Islam. they are even people who scrupulously abide by the laws of the country they live in. But that’s good. like a set of norms and values without any social or cultural content. This explains why fundamentalist ideologies have a lot of success among young Muslims with Western experience. traditional Islam. which has nothing to do with the teachings of the prophet. So. That is why the answers we in Europe try to bring to these religious fundamentalist issues are always blind to what is actually happening. Young people do . that is.138 Religion in the New Europe Europe and talk to young people from an immigrant background. They are not radicals. Moroccan Islam. which is perfect. from Algeria. because we are beyond cultural differences. because Islam has finally been detached from any given culture. to live your Islam like a pure religion. Here. It is what. tell them things very simply and clearly. “Your grandfather’s Islam is the Islam of the Marabouts. which is fine because Europe is not Islam. but he did not pass on his Islam to you. You don’t feel French or Spanish or Italian.

different paradigms have been taken from the sacred texts at different times in history. as a corporation. people still need truth. Of course. The young are returning to religion against the religion of their parents. All these forms of fundamentalism are based on the same aspects: the loss of explicit cultural identity. even in Catholic circles. as always. or alongside the religion of their parents. This religious revival is also a generation thing. rather than a theological corpus. rather than as an extension of it. will depend on whether we attach more importance to norms . It is true of Catholicism. generational basis.” This idea that religious revival must happen through rupture has always been around. The words of the Gospel have been here since the beginning. not theologians. norms and values. an experience of creation. but nowadays verses are chosen that match this religious fervor. they enter a universe where they rebuild their religion on the basis of their individual selves. or doctors of the faith.Islam in Europe: Clash of Religions or Convergence of Religiosities? 139 not become fundamentalists because their parents’ culture is ignored by Western civilization. at the same time. on the other. We live in times where theology is despised. That has nothing to do with it either. of course. it is true among Muslims. Muslims do the same: the Koran provides answers to everything. leave your home and join me. but. that manages religious orthodoxy today. and “positivization”—the fact that this rupture is considered to be positive. individualization. And the whole difference between the fundamentalist radical forms. theology fellowships in famous seminaries still exist. Theological issues were discussed. which can also be found among Protestant fundamentalists. It is the Curia in the Vatican. and in a religion conceived as a set of codes. The Ulemas. When these young people join neo-fundamentalist ideologies. and for them it is the experience of the Almighty. and this is true of all religions. have lost their legitimacy. the rupture of family ties and social ties. do no longer. Protestants set great store by these words from Jesus: “Leave your family. This religious reconstruction is done on an individual. but. famous theologians had an audience among Catholics and Protestants alike. and liberal forms. but theologians as a body. leave your friends. Theologians have disappeared: in the 1950s and 1960s. This is over now. The same thing is happening with Islam. and it is very often the case among young Protestants. the ones who tell the truth. hence the emphasis on norms and/or values. on the one hand.

even if they were not churchgoers and did not take communion. and the Catholic church lived as the expression of society. materialistic and pornographic society. That is the difference between liberalism and fundamentalism today. Thus. either there is a contradiction. it is only in the last 15 years that the veil has become the subject of fierce public debate. preachers. the issue of the external religious sign is so because all the religious communities are refashioning themselves as more or less closed communities. where the way one dresses matters. be they Protestants. in the United States. 80% of Americans say they are believers and practicing churchgoers. this issue of marking religious identity becomes extremely important. They are reconstructions made on an individual and voluntary basis. You must prove you belong to the community. there was no debate about the veil. even when they represent the majority. Suddenly. even if there was a conflict with the state. or a community. Catholics or Muslims. all religions are lived as minorities. 30 or 40 years ago. even if believers represent a majority in society. you must take religious training classes. of modes . it is interesting to note that the issue of the Islamic veil is a contemporary issue. Today. This explains the importance of the current Islamic veil issue. In fact. but even in Turkey. in France. For example. etc. The religious communities of today are no longer the expression of cultures or societies. Today. such as dress codes. which can be very variable: some groups of neo-fundamentalists will insist on physical norms.” a society where 80% of the people say that they are believers. with the new generation of clergymen. Today. There has been some debate in cabalist Turkey about the banning of the veil. But the forms of neo-fundamentalism that we are now witnessing are forms of reinvention of the norm. in the 1950s. Societies are built on other forms of cultural representation. That said. or culture. And in my opinion they are right. anyone who was not a Protestant or a Jew was assumed to be Catholic.140 Religion in the New Europe or values.. Let me come back to my Catholic example: 30 or 40 or 50 years ago. it was not the subject of any public controversy. societies are no longer religious. or they are right. This was reflected in a very simple fact: anyone could get married in church. all say the same: “We live in an atheistic. you cannot get married in church so easily if you are not a member of a parish. etc. At the same time.

The Moroccan Imam. of values. Thus. young people usually isolated in a world that is not part of the Muslim world. The Catholic Church has the huge advantage of being an institution. It is easier for some. Therefore. perfectly compatible with other religions. even in their fundamentalist dimension. So. but other religions. of having a global dimension. of economy. but nearly always ends in favor of the fundamentalists. Why? Because they have the clearest ideas of what the norm is. are profoundly modern. of norms. Therefore. it was not in defense of the traditional values of Christianity and Europe. you can ask questions and there are always people. There is no religious evidence any longer. whose preaching on Dutch TV had shocked Pim Fortuyn. but. . When Pim Fortuyn in Holland decided to lead a campaign against the influence of Islam. because this is the language of globalization. in defense of the values of sexual freedom (defense of homosexuals). even in societies with religious majorities. even fundamentalists are inclined to use a discourse based on morals and values and the supremacy of value over norm. Muslims. on the contrary. the question ”What is a religion?” today becomes the question of a community of believers. That does not mean that we are heading towards a more liberal Islam—which would be a possibility—but that the forms of religiosity. the Catholic Church can survive this globalization crisis. in a way.Islam in Europe: Clash of Religions or Convergence of Religiosities? 141 of consumption. contemporary and. Take the Fatwa websites on the Internet: they are all in English. and of being supranational. who ask questions such as: “How can I manage?” And the person who answers —usually a fundamentalist. But this community of believers no longer has a cultural basis. of course. which lack those very institutions. we are in the middle of a reconstruction effort of a virtual community. of having a Pope. Nobody would read a Fatwa website in Arabic if it existed. are suddenly faced with the problem of ”What does the norm say? Who is speaking the truth in religious matters?” This produces the paradox that the debate is totally open. because they are the ones who are interested in questions of this kind—knows only too well that the judicial norm cannot be activated or implemented. and less and less of a territorial basis. of anything we care to think of. Furthermore. They know you cannot punish someone who does not follow the religious law.

Zacharias Moussaoui. there are no examples of a young person of Algerian descent acquiring radicalism in France and going to wage jihad in Algeria. None had adopted the religious tradition of their parents. The debate is an internal debate in Europe.142 Religion in the New Europe adopted a conservative stance that could have been a Christian one (homosexuals are sick and in need of treatment rather than being acknowledged as a minority with rights). You might think all he has to do is to go to Algeria for his jihad. Montreal. Where do they go? They go to Bosnia. This means that they do not in any way see the Middle East as the heart of a Muslim culture and the heart of a territorialized Muslim civilization that could be attacked and put under siege by crusaders. not as Middle Easterners. religious Muslims in Europe side with conservative Christians. in Marseilles. They had all broken with their family. questioning Europe’s values and identity. London. this still does not explain Islamic political radicalism. homosexuality. who becomes a “Born again Muslim” in the suburbs of Paris. two or three years. sexual freedom. the Orient and the Occident or Islam and Christianity. or abortion. And when they adopt radical opinions in the West. Western education. Assuming that what I claim is true. as there are lots of opportunities there. They live in a global world. that we find ourselves in a common matrix of religiosity. Daoudi. Contemporary activists. their families stated that they had not seen them for one. but it does not oppose East and West. No one goes back to his or her country of origin. all these people had become “Born again Muslims” here in the West. There is a clash of values. not in Egypt or Morocco. but here among us. On subjects like family. to Kashmir. to New York or to the West. . and who decides to wage jihad. None of them except the Saudis came from a religious Koranic school. have all been reintroduced to Islam in a Western context: Mohamed Atta. apart from Saudis and Yemenis. in France. However. whose family is of Algerian origin. of a young French Muslim of Algerian descent. Osama Bin Laden is far more within the legacy of a tradition of Western radicalism than merely an expression of traditional political violence in Islam. to Afghanistan. where do they go to wage jihad? Let’s take the example. They all benefited from a modern. who are an important exception. There is one absolutely common trend among them: when they were arrested. to Chechnya.

living in the small world of the underground economy. a Polish name. in poverty. but of Tunisian descent. with no job prospects. France. where the father or grandfather is to be obeyed. their existence is highly symptomatic. It is a growing phenomenon. were converts. his acquaintances. no social advancement. of French origin. stealing cars. in Tunisia. There is one final phenomenon: converts. even though they do not represent large numbers. In all the radical networks recently discovered. but rather moral and psychological misery. The French police have recently arrested a German citizen with a Slavonic name. there was a break with the father or the grandfather. in the same . not only and often not even material poverty. On the contrary. About a third of the Begal network. like a parasite. She is currently on trial in a court in Brussels. the man who tried to blow up a British plane. We can observe a conversion phenomenon in underprivileged neighborhoods in France today. That is what I call the “protest conversion. how they lived as a couple among the Mujahideen and the Taliban. in the structure of a couple. the latest to be arrested in France. how she went with her husband to Afghanistan. who the police think is the man behind this attack and the link between this young Tunisian and bin Laden. have married women of European descent. they live in a modern family structure. formed by his friends. leads a dog’s life. and she explains in her book how she came to be married. a convert to Islam. at least half.Islam in Europe: Clash of Religions or Convergence of Religiosities? 143 Most of them. of delinquency. and very interesting from an intellectual point of view. etc. sometimes dealing in drugs. because. John Walker Lindh. Their family structure was therefore entirely modern. was carried out by a young Tunisian—himself a Tunisian from Tunisia. but whose whole family lives in Lyon. José Padilla. who have sometimes agreed to go with their husbands and.” e. Richard Reid. We need to study these converts. when they have a family life. are all converts.g. as we say in France. there are a growing number of converts. Some Islamist terrorist actions in Muslim countries are apparently orchestrated in the West by converts. a youth. the guy who lives next door. There was no patriarchal structure. The terrorist attack on the synagogue in Djerba. The memoirs of the wife of the killer of Commander Massoud in Afghanistan have just been published. the American Taliban. She is Belgian. He converts and joins a group of local Islamic activists.

a product of globalization. in France. But this is over: a 30-year-old. And what do they do? They do the same thing that far left radicals used to do in the 1960s: look for likely freedom fighter movements. but of a fusion of all histories. but we did not find them. They are not even in Algeria. who. in Italy. or the local Islamist networks. in the meantime. would have joined the Brigate Rosse. all targeting the same enemy—American imperialism—that is perceived as the modern form of domination.144 Religion in the New Europe apartment building. the Maoists or Action Directe. transnational liberation movements. which was to contain and hold in check a certain revolt. We have good reason to rejoice in the disappearance of a violent and radical far left. This is a fact. they go to Afghanistan to learn how to handle Kalashnikovs with “Binladenists” and they also learn how to hijack planes. in Lebanon. and his or her friends. who would have joined the proletarian left. Bin Laden’s struggles form part of a history. this young person no longer has the opportunity to join left-wing movements. messianic. and of a matrix that is far more Western than strictly Middle-Eastern. They went to the Bekaa plains to learn how to use Kalashnikovs with the Palestinian left. their skills have greatly improved. who. often also based on the generation gap. he or she has only one role model: and that is bin Laden. or in Iraq. and he joins because the group is actively fighting the system. Today. would have joined the Rote Armee Fraktion. in Germany. The far left in Europe today has abandoned zones of social exclusion. . We went to look for them with 200. and use violence.000 troops. but it did have a function. Bin Laden’s people do not live in Egypt. they are here among us—because they are the product not of our history. of capitalism. We are therefore witnessing a kind of quest for mythical. in Syria. and if he or she wants to fight the system. and they hijacked planes with them.

Author of Public Religions in the Modern World. La fin d’un monde. 2003. and Professor of Law and Philosophy at the Northwestern University. 1990. Does Christianity Cause War?. Author of Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish. 1996. Sources of the Self. La religion en mouvement. Oxford. 1979. Oxford. 1989. with Samuel P. Oxford. Paris. Princeton. Cambridge. La religion en miettes ou la question des sectes. Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. Berger is University Professor Emeritus. Oxford UP. 1998. Danièle Hervieu-Léger is Professor and the President of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). 2001. 1994. and social change in Latin America and Southern and Eastern Europe. democratization. Harvard. Selected writings: Varieties of Religion Today. 1993. 2003 (with J. ed. Harvard. “The Politics of Recognition” in Multiculturalism. 1991. Religion and World Affairs (CURA) at Boston University. Recently author of Questions of Faith: A Sceptical Affirmation of Christianity. 2002. David Martin is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Honorary Professor for Religious Studies at the University of Lancaster. London. Forbidden Revolutions: Pentecostalism in Latin America and Catholicism in Eastern Europe. Sociologies et religions. Aldershot. Paris. Paris 1999. Peter L. Paris. Professor of Sociology and Theology and Director of the Institute on Culture. Montreal. Huntington. 2002. Christian Language in the Secular City. 2002. Le Pèlerin et le converti. Christian Language and Its Mutations. 1996. New York. . Oxford. La religion pour mémoire. Recent publications: Catholicisme. P. University of Chicago Press. Les identités religieuses en Europe (co-editor). Willaime). 2002. Paris. where his work concentrates on religion. Chairman of the Advisory Board of IWM. Paris. The Ethics of Authenticity. Aldershot. 2003. Harvard. José Casanova is Professor of Sociology at New School University. Amy Gutmann. 1994.List of Contributors Charles Taylor is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Philosophy at McGill University. Many Globalizations: Cultural Diversity in the Contemporary World. Hegel and Modern Society. ed. 2001.

University of Minnesota Press and Edinburgh UP. The Forbidden Modern: Civilization and Veiling. Her recent publications include Interpénétrations: L’Islam et l’Europe. L’islam mondialisé. Lord Bhikhu Parekh is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Westminster and President of the Academy of Learned Societies in Social Sciences. Nilüfer Göle is Professor of Sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). Recently author of Multicultural Politics: Racism. Islam in Sicht (ed. The Failure of Political Islam. Islamist Networks. 2005. 2004. The Pakistan–Afghan Connection (with Mariam Abou Zahab). 1994. 1999. Paris. The search for a new ummah. .146 Religion in the New Europe Tariq Modood is Professor of Sociology and Political Science and Director of the University Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol. 2002. Olivier Roy is Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and Senior Researcher at the CNRS. 1997. Les illusions du 11 septembre. 2005. Harvard UP. 2002. London/New York. with Ludwig Ammann). Bielefeld. Paris. University of Michigan Press. Paris. Paris. He is the author of several books in political philosophy. 2000. Author of Globalised Islam. He is a Labour member of the House of Lords and a Fellow of the British Academy. London. Harvard University Press and Macmillan. 2004. Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques (CADIS). Vers un islam européen. Ethnicity and Muslims in Britain. 2003. his latest being Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory.

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