Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Amy J. Sepinwall


The purpose of this thesis was to take an in-depth look at the arguments made by scholars against religious nationalism. These scholars believe that the added influence of religion in nationalism makes it take a turn for the worse. To determine whether this is truly the case, a set of the main arguments put forth by these scholars was discussed and critiqued. The goal was to understand whether the negative consequences of religious nationalism existing in the public sphere are a product of religion or if they can be traced back to nationalism itself. The thesis discovers that the main arguments being looked at bring up issues one can link to nationalism regardless of the form it takes (religious, secular, ethnic etc.). To support the analysis, case studies from different parts of the world were used as empirical evidence. These case studies range from the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide to the assassinations of prominent Egyptian and Indian politicians at the hands of nationalist groups. The general analysis is followed by a deeper look into the evolution of nationalism within Pakistan to understand how nationalism within the same region and society can have both positive and negative effects. The analysis indicates that those who find religious nationalism to be less ideal than secular nationalism fail to see that the vices within religious nationalism are a direct result of nationalism itself, not religion.


nationalism, religious nationalism, religion, state, nation, secular, ethnic, religion



Date Posted: 10 August 2021


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