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Expressions of Religiosity and Blasphemy in Modern Societies

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In Abrahamic religions blasphemy exists to prevent challenge to the notions of the sacred. Its existence is a litmus test of the standards a society feels it must enforce to preserve its religious beliefs and morality in order to prevent mockery of the Divine. Its commission has invariably evoked severe punishment. This paper examines the debates around these issues in Christianity and Islam. It examines the struggle against blasphemy laws in Christian and Muslim countries. It concludes by arguing that modernity plays a significant role in shaping attitudes towards blasphemy in modern societies. Using empirical evidence it explores the relationship between modernity, religiosity and blasphemy in seven contemporary Muslim countries.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Flinders University


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