Disciplining religion: the role of the state and its consequences on democracy

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This article presents the concept of hegemonic religion and its relationship with democracy. This concept entails not only a certain type of institutional relation between state and religion but, more importantly, a kind of national culture with religion at its core. Utilizing Norbert Elias’s figurational sociology, this article analyses how postcolonial states have built a national habitus that plays a decisive role in the politicization of religion. It focuses on examples from Islam and Buddhism and discusses how hegemonic types of politicised religions have negative impacts on democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-154
JournalJournal of Religious and Political Practice
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jul 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2016


  • Habitus
  • hegemonic religion
  • nation-state


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