Category: France


Claire Adida on Discrimination Towards Muslims in France

France has a sizable and growing Muslim population, but how well are they integrated into national life? Prof. Claire Adida discusses a multi-pronged study conducted with David Laitin and Marie-Anne Valfort assessing the extent of discrimination on religious grounds and why it occurs. We discuss “rational” and “non-rational” Islamophobia (listen to the podcast for full definition of these terms) and the self-reinforcing “discriminatory equilibrium” that has resulted in the country. She also discusses the field experiments conducted as part of this research.

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John Owen IV on Confronting Political Islam, Historical Lessons

As ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other radical forms of political Islam take center stage in the news and policy circles, can we learn anything about the broad-based movement known as Islamism from the history of Europe? Prof. John Owen IV discusses how the West has dealt with its own radical ideological struggles and the parallels we can draw to the present situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Does a Scottish rebellion in the 1560s have anything worth informing us about the Taliban? Find out!

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Robert Delahunty on Alexis de Tocqueville and Religion

Prof. Robert Delahunty (University of St. Thomas) discusses the life and thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, particularly as it pertains to his views on religion and democracy. We discuss Tocqueville’s personal religious history and how this influenced his thought, as well as the observations he made with respect to the role of religion in a newly-formed democratic nation. Prof. Delahunty explores Tocqueville’s thoughts on church-state relations and the role of civil religion in comparison with Niccolo Machiavelli, and we reflect upon what Tocqueville’s observations recorded in America’s Jacksonian Era tell us about the role of religion in the U.S. today.

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Carolyn Warner on Religion & Generosity

Why and how do religious groups motivate generosity? We visit with Prof. Carolyn Warner (ASU) who is involved in a multi-national, cross-faith, and interdisciplinary investigation exploring why religious individuals give money and volunteer time to help others. As part of a larger team of scholars, she has conducted interviews with Catholics and Muslims in France, Ireland, Italy, and Turkey using both person-to-person interviews and an experimental design to see if there are differences across these to faith traditions. She and her team discover that Catholics tend to be motivated by “love of God” whereas Muslims are moved to give out of a “duty to God.” This sheds light on whether organizations need to provide close monitoring and sanctioning of volunteer behavior or whether individuals can be counted to be generous on their own.

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Jonathan Fox on Religion & State Around the World

What does the relationship between religious groups and the state look like around the world? Prof. Jonathan Fox of Bar Ilan University talks about the findings that have come from his expansive data collection and research exploration into the nature of religion and politics around the world. We discuss how religious organizations are regulated by governments in different parts of the globe and whether or not — and how — religious groups offer the state legitimacy and vice versa.

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Robert Woodberry on Missionaries and Democracy

Did Protestant missionaries help plant the seeds of democracy throughout the world? Prof. Robert Woodberry takes us on a historical tour-de-force around the globe showing how “conversionary Protestants” helped to promote literacy, spread printing technology, facilitate civic organization, defend religious and civil liberties, and protest the abuses of slavery and colonialism. We discuss how this happened and why Protestants were uniquely situated to do this, although we look at similar Catholic efforts in recent decades. We conclude with speculative thoughts about the Arab Spring.

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Margarita Mooney on Religion & Haitian Immigrants

To what extent can religious organizations assist immigrants adopting to a new country? Prof. Margarita Mooney (UNC) explores the role of the Catholic Church in assisting individuals of the Haitian diaspora in three communities — Miami, Montreal, and Paris. She discusses the role of personal faith and religious institutions in helping immigrants make the often difficult transition to living in a new environment, and notes that the efforts of Notre Dame d’Haiti in Miami were much more successful than similar efforts in Canada and France. She explains why this is the case and what importance that has for society at large. Our interview also digs into various methodological concerns of doing direct participant observation, a great discussion for students and non-academics who want to understand how social scientific research is conducted.

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Daniel Philpott on Religious Resurgence & Democratization

Is the global resurgence in public religiosity over the past 40 years linked in any way to the increase in democratic governance over the same period of time? Prof. Dan Philpott (Notre Dame) covers the historical trends of church-state relations and discusses how changes in political theologies and the increasing independence of religious organizations have provided a fertile ground for political democratization in some corners of the world. We examine how and why some religious traditions have been involved in promoting democracy under authoritarian conditions. Our discussion turns toward some speculation about the future of the “Arab Spring” at the end of our interview. This is the first part of a discussion of the book “God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics.”

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Ahmet Kuru on Islam in Europe

Prof. Ahmet Kuru of San Diego State Univeristy joins Research on Religion to discuss the increasing presence of Islam in Europe and how various European nations are accomodating Muslim immigration. We address the contemporary origins of this immigration and how countries such as Great Britain, Germany and Frane have had different responses to integrating Muslims into their political and cultural arenas. We cover the recent ban in the hijab (Muslim headscarf) in France and also talk about how the US response to Muslim immigrants differs than Europe. Prof. Kuru introduces us to his concepts of assertive and passive secularism.

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Roger Finke on Religious Persecution

Roger Finke of Penn State University talks with Tony about the prevalence and reasons for religious persecution around the globe. We explore the connectcions between seemingly small violations of religious liberty and religious persecution. Prof. Finke further argues that even small violations of religious liberty can presage greater threats to a wider set of civil liberties. Our discussion covers all regions of the globe, with a focus on Japan, Nigeria, Iran, Russia, France and the United States.

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