Our Research Fellow Dr Harout Akdedian presented his talk “The Post-Secular Construct in Syria: From Neo-Liberalism to Systemic Collapse - The role of religion in state-society relations and the reconfiguration of the public domain” during the CEU Center for Religous Studies PhD seminar series on October 31, 2018.
Dr Akedian focused on the religious field in Syria and inquired about institutional arrangements in state-religion-society relations over the past 30 years. With the prominence of armed Islamic groups throughout the Syrian conflict, religion and politicized forms of religiosity have often been portrayed as not only pre-existing but also as permanently embedded characteristics of Syrian politics and society. Institutional analysis of Syria’s religious domain, however, reveals how radical changes and reconfiguration have continuously redefined the place and role of religion in the country, first under conditions of neo-liberal economic restructuring and subsequently in conditions of war and fragmentation. The lecture’s overall purpose was to elaborate on the correlations of religion and religiosity, and point out how institutional arrangements in the public domain shape personal subjectivities and expressions of religiosity.