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Volume 21, 2005

Compositionality, Concepts and Representations I

Shmuel N. Eisenstadt
Pages 163-181

The Transformations of the Religious Dimension in the Constitution of Contemporary Modernities

This paper analyzes different aspects of the far-reaching resurgence or reconstruction of religions is taking place in the contemporary world. This resurgence is manifest among others in the rise of new religious, especially fundamentalist and communal-national movements, in the crystallization of new diasporas with strong religious identities, as well as far-reaching transformations of the major religious components in the constitution of contemporary collective identities and public arenas. The central focus of such reconstruction or reconstitution of the religious dimension in the classical model of the nation and revolutionary states was delegated or confined, is the transposition thereof from private or secondary public spheres, into the various political and cultural arenas and in the central frameworks of collective identities of many societies, thus greatly transforming the basic premises of the classical nation and revolutionary state. This resurgence of religion does not entail a simple return of some traditional forms of religion, but rather a far-reaching reconstitution of the religious component in new modern settings which transcends the vision of the “classical” cultural and political program of modernity and of the model of the modern nation state.

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