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Civil Societies and Uncivil Times

The Rubber Band Ball of Transnational Tensions

Brian Callan

This article introduces a special issue of Contention Journal addressing various contemporary mobilizations of civil society in response to the war in Syria and the migration of refugees into Europe. With contributions from Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Canada, the Czech Republic and Germany, the cases represent a breadth of multidisciplinary approaches and a variety of stylistic standpoints, from statistical media analysis to troubled personal reflections of engaged activist academics. The subject matter ranges from political mobilization against authoritarianism and austerity, transnational philanthropy, the emergence of local grassroots voluntary aid to right-wing populist nationalism. Though diverse, a coherent narrative is seen to converge around the refugee crisis as it unfolds in Europe; one of radical polarization within civil societies and starkly conflicting imaginaries of social futures that claim to preclude the legitimacy of other possibilities. At the same time alliances are being generated beyond borders in an attempt to bolster ideological capacity, authority, and force. This is not a clash of civilizations but the rubber band ball of transnational tension, a strained, chaotic and overlapping global contestation. At stake is the understanding of what a civil society should be.

Open access

Portrait

Diana L. Eck

Diana L. Eck, John Stratton Hawley, Rahul Mehrotra, and Sondra L. Hausner

‘biophysics’, ‘neurophysiology’, ‘nationalism’, and ‘secularism’. Working with Smith also gave me a new perspective on what ‘comparative’ study might mean. It was a crude term, really, conveying to some the idea of comparing this with that, ‘baptism’ with

Open access

The Christian Right and Refugee Rights

The Border Politics of Anti-communism and Anti-discrimination in South Korea

Angie Heo

evangelical Protestant networks in Seoul, and I was already familiar with their lobbying prowess and legendary public expressions of right-wing nationalism. What did surprise me, however, was how they poured significant resources into opposing such a

Open access

Sharedness as Belonging

Hospitality, Inclusion, and Equality among the Layene of Senegal

Emily Jenan Riley

.p . Bellinger , Robert A . 2013 . “ The Géwël Tradition Project: Supporting a Living Tradition .” African Arts 46 ( 1 ): 62 – 71 . 10.1162/AFAR_a_00045 Covington-Ward , Yolanda . 2016 . Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday

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Introduction

Communities Reimagining Sharedness in Belief and Practice

Sarah Hillewaert and Chantal Tetreault

patience and guidance of the Religion and Society editors as we worked toward realizing this special section. References Anderson , Benedict . 1983 . Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism . London : Verso

Open access

From the Throes of Anguished Mourning

Shi‘i Ritual Lamentation and the Pious Publics of Lebanon

Fouad Gehad Marei

, violence, governance, pluralism, nationalism ( Geertz 1973: 30) . Moreover, I share the viewpoint that the entrainment of emotional states through ritualized interactions is a fundamental mechanism of social life ( R. Collins 2004 ). Therefore, I understand

Open access

Laura L. Cochrane

-Ward , Yolanda . 2016 . Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo . Durham, NC : Duke University Press . Cruise O'Brien , Donal B . 1975 . Saints and Politicians: Essays in the Organisation of a Senegalese Peasant

Open access

Wrestling with Tradition

Reconstructing Jewish Community through Negotiating Shared Purpose

Chantal Tetreault

literal translation of ‘Israel’, a word that in the Torah stands in for ‘the Jewish people’. References Anderson , Benedict . 1983 . Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism . London : Verso . Barenblat

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Speaking in Celestial Signs

The Language of Western Astrology and the (Tenuous) Bonds of Occult Sociality

Omri Elisha

Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion . New Haven, CT : Yale University Press . Anderson , Benedict . 1983 . Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism . London : Verso . Basso , Keith H . 1996

Open access

Sarah M. Hillewaert

.1093/acprof:oso/9780199997626.001.0001 Anderson , Benedict . 1983 . Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism . London : Verso . Austin , John . 1962 . How to Do Things with Words . Oxford : Clarendon Press