24/6/2020: Stoeckl, Kristina. Europe’s new religious conflicts: Russian Orthodoxy, American Christian Conservatives, and the emergence of a European Populist Christian Right

Keynote Lecture at the European Academy of Religion's Annual Conference 2020
Di., 23. Juni 2020, 17:35
Keynote Lecture at the European Academy of Religion's Annual Conference 2020

Europe’s new religious conflicts: Russian Orthodoxy, American Christian Conservatives, and the emergence of a European Populist Christian Right Kristina Stoeckl (Universität Innsbruck) For the last thirty years, the American Christian Right has been exporting the model of the American culture wars to other parts of the world, but only fairly recently has it found a new powerful ally in this cause: Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Church’s contacts with Christian Right groups in Europe and in the US have helped to strengthen ties between the Kremlin and European populist right parties. Sexuality and gender are the most prominent themes in this moral conservative norm mobilization. Christian conservatives in the United States, Europe and in Russia mobilize against same-sex marriage, against LGBTQ-rights and against “gender-theory” in general. As Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox actors from different countries form transnational and interdenominational coalitions against liberal values, they reshape the presence of religion in national political and public debates and challenge not only established religion-state relations in specific domestic contexts, but also the leadership of their churches. In the same vein, European populist right parties have adopted a Christian rhetoric against Islam and use the populist argument of “us” vs. “the elites” to challenge the very authority of church teaching. This gives rise to a new type of religious conflict in Europe, no longer between the different confessions and no longer between the religious and secular, but over the very meaning of Christianity in Europe.

Link to the Lecture

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