Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

Religion and Nation in Global Perspective


The interface between religion and the nation-state is complex and influences a wide range of critical issues, from national governance to international relations. While scholarship on state-religion interactions is well established, the relationship between religion and nationalism is much less explored. Recent events highlight the ways in which religion and nationalism can meet—citizenship policy in India, COVID-19 response in Russia, and ongoing conflict in Syria serve as just a few examples across different faith traditions and country contexts. At home, the United States has also seen the relationship between religion and nationalism play out on the public stage, including recent displays of both white Christian nationalism and civil religion surrounding the 2020 presidential election. These and other developments call for closer scrutiny of the interplay between religion and nationalism in historical and contemporary perspective.