Two Identity Builders in Amity and Enmity

Religion and Politics

  • Vincent Kundukulam MG University
Keywords: Civil Religion, Deprivatization of Religion, Patronization of Religious Symbols by Politics, Secular Nationalism, Political and Religious Interactions, Religious Nationalism


Religion and politics are the two ancient social institutions which propose, each in its own way, a notion of how to live in this world. Since both of them structure the social living of people they are everywhere interactive. The constant interaction of politics and religion in different countries gives birth to diverse forms of political and religious co-habitations and there emerges consequent issues revolving their identities, methods of reaching out to people and means of their survival. This paper explains the rationale of the inevitable alliance between politics and religion, exposes the important models of politics and religion co-existing in the current world and examines the potential of religion to withstand the attempts of politics to overwhelm religion. It also envisages that the emerging cold war between secular and religious nationalisms will not result in disastrous casualties.

Author Biography

Vincent Kundukulam, MG University

Dr Vincent Kundukulam is Professor of ‘Theology and Religious Sciences’ in the Pontifical Institute Alwaye (PIA), and at present its President. He has his doctorate from the Sorbonne University, Paris and Post-doctoral from the Catholic Institute, Paris. His specialization is in the areas of Hindutva, Theology of Religions and Postmodernity. He teaches at different faculties in India and is a Research Guide at MG University, Kottayam. He is an Editorial Board Member of a few scientific journals and columnist in Light of Truth and Satyadeepam. He has authored seven books and over seventy articles in French, English, and Malayalam.


Winston L. King, Religion, in The Encyclopaedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade, ed., vol. 12, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987, 284.

J. Milton Yinger, “Social Aspects of Religion,” The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 15, New York: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 1980, 604-605.

C. Geertz, “Religion as a Cultural System,” Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion, Michael Banton, ed., London: Tavistock, 1966, 4.

M. Sushitra, “Political Philosophy,” ACPI Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, J. J. Puthenpurackal, ed., Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 2010, 1051-1052.

Max L. Stackhouse, “Politics and Religion,” The Encyclopaedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade, ed., vol.11, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987, 408-410.

David Martin, A General Theory of Secularisation, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1978, 107-108.

Z. Zalman Abramov, Perpetual Dilemma: Jewish Religion in the Jewish State, Cranbury, New Jersey: Associated University Presses, 1976, 60-61.

Mark Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993, 1-7.

Mattias Gardell, Countdown to Armaggeddon, London: Hurst and company, 1996, 8-9.

David Martin, Does Christianity Cause War? London: Clarendon Press, 1997, 40-41.

P. E. Hammond and D. W. Machacek, “Religion and the State,” The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Peter B. Clarke, ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, 403.

David Nicholls, Deity and Domination: Images of God and the State in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, London and New York: Routledge, 1989, 223-224.

Martin Conway, “Introduction,” Political Catholicism in Europe 1918-1965, Tom Buchanan & Martin Conway, eds., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996, 30-33.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract and Discourses, London and Melbourne: Dent, 1973, 306-308. Robert Bellah, “Civil Religion in America,” Daedalus 96, 1 (Winter 1967), 7-8, 18, cited in Linda Woodhead and Paul Heelas, eds., Religion in Modern Times: An Interpretative Anthology, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000, 240.

José Casanova, Public Religions in the Modern World, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994, 220-222.

D. H. Levine, Popular Voices in Latin American Catholicism, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992, 32-40

How to Cite
Kundukulam, V. (2015). Two Identity Builders in Amity and Enmity. Journal of Dharma, 40(2), 155-168. Retrieved from