The dichotomy between piety and zealotry: Reflections on the relation between religiosity and democratic secularism

2015-12
Demiray, Mehmet Ruhi
It is a mark of the decades we live in that the long-standing relations between politics and religion founded along the axis of liberal-democratic principles have turned out to appear problematical. It seems now an important issue to find out how religiosity should be located within political and social terrain. The cliché that fundamentalism constitutes the limit for tolerating religious demands and movements within liberal democratic regimes, does not help much. The real problem is how to draw the distinction between acceptable and non-acceptable forms of religiosity, and this distinction is usually drawn wrongly as a matter of weightiness of one’s religious convictions in shaping one’s way of life. This paper investigates the possibility of making a categorical, rather than a proportional, distinction between acceptable and non-acceptable forms of religiosity through working up a dichotomy between zealotry and piety, which can then serve as the criterion for the acceptability of religious demands and movements within democratic political spheres.

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Citation Formats
M. R. Demiray, “The dichotomy between piety and zealotry: Reflections on the relation between religiosity and democratic secularism,” ODTÜ Gelişme Dergisi, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 339–354, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: http://www2.feas.metu.edu.tr/metusd/ojs/index.php/metusd/article/view/753.