Editor’s note: Introducing the ’Mosaic Europe’ series

Religion, the new open field of the Modern-World’s ideological battleground?

, by Charlotte Culine

Editor's note: Introducing the 'Mosaic Europe' series

Immanuel Wallerstein’s theory presenting culture as the ideological battleground of the Modern-World has never seemed so vivid as the current open fire bouncing back and forth between Erdogan and Macron displays the frontline for. Ever since the fall of the Berlin wall, the scission between West and East has never felt so real, so palpable. This time though, the Eastern block is taking a new shape, and from the opposition of two economic powers observed in the Cold War, the world became the stage for the battle of two civilizations.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a civilization as a human society with well-developed social organizations, or the culture and way of life of a society or country at a particular period in time.

According to this definition and the History of humankind, religion has taken an active role in the shaping of all civilizations. In the Twenty-First Century, religious and secularist systems still define the fundaments of societies compared to the others: their habits, beliefs, laws, aspirations, humour, politics. Every contemporary society, as secular as they might be, are still deeply impregnated by their religious inheritance, and in the current battle of civilizations, religion was quickly targeted as the denominator for the acceptable in acceptable societies. For the past decade, and even more intensely since the Islamist-claimed attacks and unprecedentedly high immigration waves in several Western European countries from 2015 on, religions have been continuously and intermittently teared down and uplifted, cried for and laughed at, accused and protected on the European continent. Religion has always acted as a cultural determinant and used to oppose people coming from different sides of the barrier which divides the world in two parts.

For a supposedly entirely secular and completely neutral society as Europe is described to be, irony had it that the ideological battleground predicted by Wallerstein shifted from culture to religion, from an ideological battlefield to a modern Crusades.

This shift brings about shortcuts and a certain simplism within political spheres and, as per usual, discourses tend to wrongfully copy paste a premade idea of the Western lifestyle to other parts of the continent. Jumping back to the conflict opposing Erdogan and Macron, turns out that two monovisions of Europe are being drawn by each side. On one hand the European Christendom, widely Christian and inherently opposed to Islam. On the other hand, a fully secular and neutral society, which rejects the influence of religion onto the political sphere. These visions forget that France does not have the same relationship to religion as do Greece, Poland, or Latvia. Foolish are the ones believing in the complete secularism of Europe or of “the West”. The reality is much more complex, rich and fascinating. If any debate needs to be held about religion, its evolution in society and its treatment on the European level, an accurate portrait needs to be drawn of it.

Well, The New Federalist is here for that! To remind, to all of us, to our readers, to the people, to the politicians, the diversity, and the plurality of the societies hosted by our beloved continent. Europe is not entirely secular, nor entirely religious. It shelters Republics, Monarchies, and a Sacerdotal state! This portrait will be crafted over the span of the next few weeks, starting next week. The series of articles ’Mosaic Europe’ will offer a panorama of different situations and problematics linked to religion in Europe. For writers, the wording is of upmost importance, and the term mosaic was thus chosen as it refers to different meanings. Mosaics appeared as religious and historical illustrations, as early as Ancient Greece, the oldest European civilization. Mosaics also refer to Moses, a main character of all the main religions represented in Europe. Lastly but not least, Mosaic, or Mosaicism, is a condition leading a subject to be composed of cells each hosting a different genetic composition. Europe does seem to be a beautiful Mosaic, made of a plurality and a multiplicity of different cultural and religious entities.

Over the span of the next few months, room will be given to writers from all over the continent and beyond, to tell us about how they live or have lived in different European countries with or without religion, how their governments interact with religion or avoid it, and the ideological shape religion can take within their nation, their region, or even closer, within their family!

Join us every Sunday night for a relaxing yet fascinating read before starting another busy week, with a new episode of Mosaic Europe!

The History, Culture, Society and Youth Section Editor - Charlotte Culine

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