Philip Gorski is an American Sociologist in the areas of religious and historical Sociology. He is the Co-Director of Yale’s Center for Comparative Research (CCR), and co-runs the Religion and Politics Colloquium at the Yale MacMillan Center. He sat down with Alexander Görlach to talk about the role of religion in the public sphere.
SLD:Politics and religion are back on stage. Why is it that a res publica like the United States of America or European countries such as Austria, Poland or England never cease invoking religious rhetoric and inventory?
Gorski: Religious and national identities tend to be very entangled with each other. In some instances, this is quite explicit. Many Americans consider the US a “Christian nation.” Many Poles consider their country a “Catholic nation.” And even where the connection between religious and national identity is submerged it can be resurfaced by encounters with religious others. In this way, many European countries are discovering thei“Christian” or “Judaeo-Christian” roots via the encounter with European Islam.