New Book: Instilling Religion in Greek and Turkish Nationalism: A ‘Sacred Synthesis’
This book authored by Ioannis N. Grigoriadis is the first comparative study to examine the role of religion in the formation of Greek and Turkish nationalisms.The book argues that the shift to an increasingly religious paradigm in both countries can be explained in terms of the exigencies of consolidation and the need to appeal to grassroots elements and account for diversity. You can find more information on the book of Dr Grigoriadis here.
‘This inspiring comparative case study is not on two nations only but on two religions too. The shift from secularism to a synthesis that incorporates religion in both Greece and Turkey can be read as an enriched model that widens our analytical perspectives on nation-building and identities.’
Hercules (Iraklis) Millas, political scientist, Athens, Greece
‘George Bernard Shaw is rumored to have said once that ‘England and America
are two countries separated by the same language.’ If we want to rewrite this statement for Greeks and Turks in modern times, we might easily say that ‘Greece and Turkey are two countries separated by the same political culture.’ One of the basic ingredients of this shared political culture was the use and abuse of religion and of religious sentiments of the masses for nationalist projects. Although the performance of the Greek nation-state was considered to be a ‘success story’ by the founding fathers of Turkish nationalism, in that it nationalized the Orthodox Church and hence ironed out its ecumenical/universal characteristics in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Turkish nationalist elites were about a century late when it came to nationalizing Islam. Dr. Grigoriadis’ treatment of the subject will generate debate on the both sides of the Aegean.’
Ayhan Aktar, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey