State and Faith: Right-wing Populism and Nationalized Religion in Hungary
Our paper explores how populist radical right-wing forces re-interpret religion, and re-frame Christianity in a non-universalistic, nationalist way to legitimize their rule in Hungary. Populism is considered as an anti-elitist, anti-institutional political behavior that identifies with ‘the people’, and enhances their ‘direct’ participation in the political process as opposed to representative government. Populism has an ideological character but in itself does not have a particular ideological content. As a form of government it is based on popular participation with limited public contest for power. Although neither Fidesz nor Jobbik appeared before the electorate as a deeply religious political party, both of them have portrayed themselves as socially conservative, ‘Christian’ nationalists. This implied a form of institutionalized cooperation between them and the large historical Christian churches. The Orbán regime demonstrates that radical right-wing populism employs a quasi-religious ideological construction through which it attempts to mobilize a wider social spectrum: ethno-nationalism. This surrogate religion offers a nationalist and paganized understanding of Christianity and elevates the concept of ethnically defined nation to a sacred status.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work three months after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. This acknowledgement is not automatic, it should be asked from the editors and can usually be obtained one year after its first publication in the journal.