Nationalism And Nationalism

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In a world characterized by Christian, Hindu, and Muslim fundamentalisms, as well as by the rising influence of the nationalist extreme right in Europe, the United States and India the need for a study of religion and identity becomes increasingly pertinent. To understand this confluence of religious and national extremism this paper tries to trace the roots of nationalism and explores its links to religion in Europe. This paper will try to argue that not only that nationalism has replaced religion but also that nationalism is a form of religious expression in and of itself. ‘Religion’ and ‘nationalism’ have long been contested terms. Given the lack of agreement on what we are talking about when we talk about religion or nationalism - it is…show more content…
Brubaker writes “Modern national citizenship was an invention of the French Revolution” (Brubaker 35). The French Revolution of 1789 was instrumental in the emergence and growth of modern nationalism, the idea that a state should represent, and serve the interests of, a people, or "nation”. Prior to the French Revolution, France was divided into various regions and religions. The only thing that could possibly link the nation together was the belief that everyone was supposed to serve the king. However, by the end of the eighteenth century, there appeared to be a sense of membership among the French people. Some of them no longer saw themselves as "subject" to serve the king, instead, they began seeing themselves as "citizens" who serve their own nation…show more content…
Hans- Kohn defines nationalism as “a state of mind, in which the supreme loyalty of the individual is felt to be due to the nation”. The expression of this Nationalism takes many forms and shapes, including, feelings of awe and reverence, and ceremonial rites, focused on the flag. These displays of Nationalism seem similar to the definition of religion we put forth earlier as "a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, persuasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in [people] by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence”. Using this sort of imagery and sentiment Nationalism is able to bring about a “deep and compelling emotion” that is “essentially

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