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Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival$
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Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660384

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660384.001.0001

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The Tempting of Europe, the Political Seduction of the Cross

The Tempting of Europe, the Political Seduction of the Cross

A Schmittian Reading of Christianity and Islam in European Constitutionalism

(p.111) 6 The Tempting of Europe, the Political Seduction of the Cross
Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival

Susanna Mancini

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines legal and political responses to the growing presence of Islam in Europe through the lens of Carl Schmitt’s thought. It points out how such responses draw on an essentialist and idealized notion of the people, and aim at artificially reinforcing the cultural and religious homogeneous character of the European public sphere, thus pursuing an ‘identitarian’ model of democracy. It concludes that the role attributed to the ‘Christian roots’ of Europe in contemporary discourses is analogous to the role that Schmitt ascribed to the Catholic Church in representing the values which were the essence of European civilization and separated it from ‘uncivilized’ others.

Keywords:   headscarf, burqa, crucifix, Islam, Christianity, Catholic Church, Militant democracy, identitarian democracy, Carl Schmitt, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, Religious freedom, political pluralism, unity, homogeneity, representation

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