The Tempting of Europe, the Political Seduction of the Cross
University of Bologna; Johns Hopkins University - Bologna Center
March 13, 2011
Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld (eds.), Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival, Oxford University Press (Forthcoming)
This article examines legal and political responses to the growing presence of Islam in Europe through the lens of Carl Schmitt’s thought. It points out how such responses draw on an essentialist and idealized notion of the people, and aim at artificially reinforcing the cultural and religious homogeneous character of the European public sphere, thus pursuing an ‘identitarian’ model of democracy. It concludes that the role attributed to the ‘Christian roots’ of Europe in contemporary discourses is analogous to the role that Schmitt ascribed to the Catholic Church in representing the values which were the essence of European civilization and separated it from ‘uncivilized’ others.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: headscarf, burqa, Islam, Christianity, Militant democracy, identitarian democracy, Carl Schmitt, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, Religious freedom, political pluralism, unity, homogeneity
Date posted: March 18, 2011 ; Last revised: June 5, 2013
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