Neighbourly Love in European Migration Debates: The Politics of Using the Bible (First of Three Seminars in the Populism and Religion Series) - Karin Neutel
Recent political discussions about migration and Islam have seen a resurgence of claims about Europe’s Christian identity and values. While many assume these claims to be theologically empty, and to constitute a ‘hijacking’ of religion, this paper will demonstrate how they are often accompanied by biblical references, particularly on the themes of the neighbour and neighbourly love. These references raise questions, not only about the continuing political relevance of the Bible, but also about the task of Biblical Scholars to engage with the Bible’s relevance in today’s political climate.
Karin Neutel is Associate Professor in New Testament Studies at Umeå University. Her research focuses on contemporary uses of the Bible in social and political contexts, with a focus on debates about migration and about male circumcision. She has a doctorate from the University of Groningen, Netherlands, and has worked as a researcher at the VU University – Amsterdam, the Max Weber College at Erfurt University, and the University of Oslo.
About the Seminar Series
The seminar series on populism and religion focuses on theoretical, philosophical and theological dimensions of populism. Certain conceptions of politics – including political community, political processes and political decision-making – characterize typical formulations of populist thought. A fundamental conviction of this seminar series is that we must investigate these very conceptions if we want to engage in dialogue that goes beyond plain-sense descriptions or explanations of certain facts, and which deeply addresses questions about how society is – and ought to be – organized. Descriptive language and references to facts cannot by themselves account for all the questions posed by society, let alone provide the answers.
We welcome to our seminars a range of intellectually interested parties, including senior and junior scholars, doctoral students, and beginners. In order to reach the broadest possible audience, the default language of our seminars is English, but occasional seminars may be hosted in Danish, French, German, Norwegian, or Swedish.