• Moderating Religious Identity and the Eclipse of Religious Wisdoms: Lessons from Hans Frei

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-06-16)
      The multivalent binary distinction between radical and moderate religion plays a key part in the rhetoric and strategy of European governments in their attempts to produce European Muslim citizens whose primary political loyalty lies with the society and state in which they live. It also plays a key part in public discourse about European Muslims and their citizenship. In what follows, I focus especially on one relatively constructive use of the distinction in the UK, offer an account of its logic through a reading of the political theology of John Locke and a critique of its effects upon a religious tradition that draws on the analysis of Hans W. Frei. Frei’s account suggests that to the extent that this logic has shaped Christian self-understanding, it tends to eclipse the wellsprings of the critically constructive engagement of Christians in the public sphere and public institutions constitutive of a pluralist, democratic society. This assessment in turn raises questions about the impact of the moderate/radical binary in respect of sources of constructive critical engagement by citizens with other religious identities.