Europe without Christianity?
Introducing a dossier entitled ‘A Europe without Christianity?’ Jean-Louis Schlegel writes in Esprit: ‘Let us reassure those who might be worried: this is not – yet – the case. Believers and religious communities remain diversified and alive –although are more numerous in some places than others – and are stimulated by migratory de-territorialization and the growth of “multicultural” societies.’
Secularization and the law: ‘The lawcourts’ management of religion in general and of Islam in particular is reshaping the whole religious field in Europe,’ writes Olivier Roy. He demonstrates how court decisions impact on the relations between European society and religions, mainly Christianity and Islam. Although not all religion cases involve Islam, religion is treated by the courts as a “crisis” subject due to the focus on Islam in society. Citing examples of laws on religious signs in France, or a recent law forbidding ritual slaughter in Denmark, Roy argues not that courts in Europe are Islamophobic, but that they ‘negate religions and contribute to the secularism of European societies’.
Absent Gods: Islamic terrorism can be interpreted as ‘a form of nihilism: a limitless resentment toward a world without God, argues Michael Fœssel. Islamic terrorists cannot bear the absence of their God in a world upon which they seek revenge.’ Both Nietzche and Karl Barth remind us that one should not refer to a ‘return of religion’. Today, we are witnessing ‘more a phenomenon of religious vitalism than a renewal of faith’. Nietzche and Barth invoke God sparingly, and teach us the vanity of religious vitalism, which desires God ‘here and now’.
Paradoxes of secularism: Jean-Claude Monod insists on a nuanced understanding of secularization. Exploring Charles Taylor’s ‘Secular Age’ analysis, he argues that the categories of secularism and post-secularism only partially describe religious tendencies in an era of uncertainty.
Algeria: Joël Hubrecht writes on Macron’s recognition in September of the responsibility of the French State in the death of Maurice Audin, a member of the Algerian communist party, in 1957. This is the first time that such an abuse has recognized at the political level. Macron also announced the opening of civil and military archives on disappeared persons during this period. This constitutes a step towards the full recognition of responsibility for abuses committed by the French State during the Algerian war, writes Hubrecht.
Source: The Eurozine Review, “Many written trees”
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