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Jonatan Bäckelie

Doctoral student

Jonatan Bäckelie
Doctoral student
Religious studies
jonatan.backelie@lir.gu.se
+46 31 786 1559

Room number: D330
Postal Address: Box 200, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Renströmsgatan 6 , 41255 Göteborg


Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion (More Information)
Box 200
405 30 Göteborg
www.lir.gu.se
lir@lir.gu.se

Visiting Address: Renströmsgatan 6 , 405 30 Göteborg

About Jonatan Bäckelie

My name is Jonatan Bäckelie and I’m a doctoral student in Religious Studies since September 2012. Academically I am passionate about History of Religion with a special focus on Islam, Political Science (primarily Political Philosophy) and (primarily Political) Theology. To much delight I have managed to be accepted as a doctoral student with a thesis project that weaves these three together. Apart from these subject matters I have a large interest in postmodern theory in general, Queer and Gender Studies, and the American political philosopher William E. Connolly.

Research

Thesis: Religion in Politics? Young people’s views on religious claims in the political, in a post-secular society

Today we speak about living is a post-secular state (nation-state and state of being). That is, the ideas that the secularisation of society is on-going is perceived as one position among many. In this society religious voices has in some ways come to the fore again or in new ways.

So how do young people talk about religion and politics in such a state? And what happens when people are inspired by religious sources or practices; is this perceived as illegitimate grounds for participation in political life? Through focus group interviews my ambition is to investigate how members from three Swedish political parties and members from three religious organisations view these issues.

My impression is that academic literature around the role of Liberalism in a post-secular society often has a strong focus on problems with liberal practices – or "lived liberalism", but that this is pitted against theological, dogmatic or theoretical interpretations – that is, not against "lived religion". Perspectives on lived religion thus far seems to be underdeveloped and my hopes are that my thesis will be an empirically focused contribution to that area.

Keywords: lived liberalism, lived religion, political theory, post-secularity, party politics, svenska kyrkan, pingstkyrkan, Sveriges Unga Muslimer, Sweden, Connolly

MA. Thesis: Liberalism and politics of religion: an analysis of the imam education investigation

Swedish universities should be ”confessionally neutral”. This means that we can educate priests and church clergy, but not the parts of the necessary training which requires some form of confession. But what is confessionality? What scientific and political prerequisites does academia have to abide by?

To shed light on that question it is important to view how the birth of the nation-state separated the religious from the secular in order to shift people’s loyalties away from church and direct it towards the state. Modern definitions of religion as a concept are tightly connected to this development. In the thesis one point is that politics and religion share many features, which makes it possible to discuss politics by putting it in the light of the concept “confessionality”. This view on politics also has implications on the academic stance on the relation between religion and politics.

Based on this I analyse the Swedish Government Official Report “The State and the Imams” (SOU 2009:52) in order to unpack how the interplay between religion and politics looks when the question on the table is whether we, alongside with an education of priests, also should educate Imams at Swedish universities? My thesis also includes a critical assessment on how the scholars who have carried out and compiled the report have dealt with such issues, based on the ideas of agonistic democracy theorists Chantal Mouffe and William E. Connolly.

Read the MA. Thesis on-line (link to GUPEA - Gothenburg University Publications – Electronic Archive).

Keywords: Imams, Education of Imams, Sweden, Liberalism, Mouffe, Connolly.

BA. Thesis: Swedish young muslims’ relation to the left-right-scale

How do Swedish Muslims view Swedish party politics? And what does their knowledge of politics, interests for it, trust towards politicians look like? Based on a survey carried out during Sveriges Unga Muslimer’s annual youth conference 2009 I try to provide insight into how members of Sweden’s largest Sunni Muslim youth organisation view these questions.

Many answers provides a far more complex image of Swedish Muslims than how they are popularly portrayed in media. Amongst the survey’s respondents there was a large variation regarding socio-economic factors, types of housing, level of education etc. The was a large degree of interest for Swedish politics, although the trust in Swedish politicians were lower. Especially there were very few respondents who stated that they favoured any center-right party. At the same time, on a minority of specific topics, respondents held views that did not correspond to the parties the favoured (above all the Social Democrats and Green Party). Differently put there didn’t seem to be any party that fully represented the whole range of views that were commonly held by the survey’s respondents. This raises questions regarding the applicability of the left-right-scale in understanding political participation, as well as questions about how representative our representative parliamentarianism really is.

Read the BA. Thesis on-line in GUPEA (Swedish only). The thesis has also been reworked into a chapter in the book Islam och Politik, written together with Göran Larsson, professor in History of Religions at the department.

Keywords: Sveriges Unga Muslimer, Swedish Young Muslims, left-right, party politics, representation, statistics, survey data

Page Manager: Elin Widfeldt|Last update: 10/27/2014
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