Political Affiliations and Tendencies in Religion

Topics: Religion, Islam, Christianity Pages: 8 (2818 words) Published: May 1, 2013
Southern UTah university|
political affiliations and tendencies in religion|
Liberal, Conservative, & Radical|


Kaitlin Kelley
SOC 3850
Dr. Dean

Political Affiliations in Religious Traditions Across the World
The political liberalism and conservatism as well as the political affiliations of religious groups, leaders, and practices gives an extremely interesting new world to delve much thought into. Particularly three types of religious affiliations are the topic of study in this case, the Christian belief system, the Islamic, and the Hindu traditions. These three religions are the largest in the world with millions of people across many nations who share these religious similarities. Delving into the moral obligations, values, and expectations of these religious and seemingly large groups could give insight into histories of populations, democracy, moral codes, and even reasons of warfare. Looking at the smallest detail can reap the mightiest harvest. The serious consideration of the political spheres of conservative, liberal, and radical tendencies in each of these religions will be a very informational way to sort and discover these tendencies.

An important introduction to this interesting conundrum is what exactly would be considered liberal, conservative, and radical and which ideas of these three very different ideals can be considered the true definitions. Many different places throughout the world have different names for the American ideas of liberal versus conservative, and the term radical can have interesting connotations anywhere in the world. The most important thing to understand in this research is that there are huge polarities varying because of the different regions in the world. In the U.S., women wearing pants and letting their hair show is nowhere close to appealing to liberal or radical extremes it would be considered normal and not talked of in those terms, but, in places with different cultures, like the Middle East, women wearing this dress and acting in this fashion can be considered extremely liberal, almost to the point of blasphemy on the side of the Islamic faith. By the same token, different ideas and different subjects are considered differently in different places as well. So, while studying these faiths, it is important to include the regions they are widely practiced in, and variations of the religions found in other parts of the world. (Arat)

Starting with the Christian faith, it is widely practiced over great areas and multiple regions of the world. Because of the Crusades between 1095-1291 A.D. and the spread of empires such as the Romans and the English, Christianity was spread to so many areas that were previously inhabited by many other religions. Typically, the western hemisphere and much of Europe practices some type of Christianity. Some countries are actually dominated by a certain sect of the Christian faith for example, the Church of England set aside to be the state religion since 1534. (Bretherton) Taking a look at the Islamic faith, it is very widely spread in the Middle Eastern region of the world which used to be known as the, “Near East”. Islam started in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and spread throughout the region. It later spread throughout the East, and the rest of the world as well. The largest concentration of Muslims is still in the Middle East with many nations still under theocratic rule with Islam at their head. (Kamrava) Moving on to the Hindu religious traditions date back to their origin in what is believed to be India. Hinduism is the oldest extant religion in the world as well.

So after examining the different regions and places associated with the religions that have been presented, defining the conservative, liberal, and radical terms in the research will be important to look at next. The term “conservative” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is a) tending or disposed to maintain...

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Arat, Ye*Sim. Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy: Islamist Women in Turkish Politics. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005. Book.
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Bretherton, Luke. Christianity and Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possiblities of Faithful Witness. West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Book.
Dochuk, Darren. From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain Folk Religion, Grassroot Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism 1st Ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011. Book.
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