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CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM? RACISM AND COLLECTIVE IDENTITY IN TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY IMMIGRATION DISCOURSES

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Chapter Summary

Starting from the notion of a “postsecular society” in current German debates about immigration, this essay investigates links between racism and collective identity in German debates about immigration that took place in the context of an academic as well as broader public return to “premises” during the 2000s. It explores this emerging episteme of (not always strictly religious) faith and affirmation through the newly popular philosophies of Stanley Cavell and Alain Badiou. In juxtaposing their in many respects divergent theoretical models, it develops a concept of critically affirmative reconfiguration and argues that it enables productive responses to ongoing political affirmations of collective identity. The case study is the topos of “Christian universalism,” which has been used, in significantly different ways, both in conservative and mainstream articulations of national identity (Sarrazin; “headscarf” legislations) and in Badiou’s radical counter-figuration.

10.1163/9789401208116_009
/content/books/b9789401208116s009
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