Religious Nationalism
A Reference Handbook
by Atalia Omer and Jason A. Springs
February 2013, 328pp, 6x9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-439-9
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-440-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Religion nationalism is a complex topic fraught with sensitive questions. Does religion cause violence? Is nationalism a quasi-religion? Are the constant conflicts around the world really about religion, or is religion merely a form of false consciousness? Is religious nationalism primarily a powerful tool political elites use to manipulate the masses?

This book tackles the assumptions behind common understandings of religious nationalism, exploring the complex connections between religion, nationalism, conflict, and conflict transformation.

Religious Nationalism: A Reference Handbook challenges dominant scholarly works on religious nationalism by identifying the preconceptions that skew analysis of the phenomenon dubbed “religious nationalism.” The book utilizes a multidisciplinary approach that draws insight from theories of nationalism, religious studies, peace research, and political theory, and reframes the questions of religious nationalism within the perspectives of secularism, modernity, and Orientalism. In doing so, the author enables readers to uncover their own presumptions regarding the role of religion in public life.

Unlike other works on this subject, the work outlines connections between the analysis of the role of religion in conflict to thoughts regarding how religion may relate to processes of peacebuilding and conflict transformation, and further connects the discussion of religious nationalism to broader conversations on the so-called resurgence of religion. The book will serve advanced high school and college students studying religion, international relations, and related subjects while also appealing to a wide audience of readers with an interest in questions of religion and politics.


  • Speeches of political and religious leaders
  • Chronologies of conflicts in such places as Israel-Palestine, Sri Lanka, and the former Yugoslavia
Atalia Omer, PhD, is assistant professor of religion, conflict, and peace studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, IN. She earned her doctorate from the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. Her published works include When Peace is Not Enough: How the Israeli Peace Camp Thinks about Religion, Nationalism, and Justice as well as articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, The Journal of Political Theology, The Study of Nationalism and Ethnicity, and The International Journal of Peace Studies.

Jason A. Springs is assistant professor of religion, ethics, and peace studies at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, IN, where he also holds an appointment as faculty fellow in the Center for the Study of Religion and Society. His research and teaching focus on conceptions of religious toleration and the challenges posed by religious pluralism for transforming conflict in European and North American contexts. His journal articles addressing issues in modern religion in public life appear in such journals as The Journal of Religion, Journal of Religious Ethics, Modern Theology, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal.


"Overall, this work is recommended for most reference collections, particularly for its case studies and supplemental references."—Booklist, July 1, 2013

"A valuable supplement to college courses in the humanities and social sciences examining the concept of religious nationalism. "—ARBA, May 1, 2013

Contemporary World Issues

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24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

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Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
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  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
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