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Political Church, Procedural Europe, and the Creation of the Islamic Other

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Taking the cue from the controversial speech of Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg in 2006, this paper explores the connection between the apparently divergent positions taken by the Catholic Church and the European secular establishment on the question of European identity and Islam. The argument is advanced that the proceduralism of the European secular establishment contributes to breed its nemesis, a conservative politicised church, but also converges with it in identifying Islam as 'the Other.' It is thus asked whether a critical valorisation of Europe's emotional attachments may not actually strengthen its capacity to embrace the 'difference' represented by Islam.


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