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Faithful Citizens

Civic Allegiance and Religious Loyalty in a Globalised Society. A Dutch Case Study

Pieter Dronkers

320 pages
Amsterdam University Press
How do you belong to a civic community? This has become a key issue in liberal democracies that undergo drastic changes through the processes of globalisation and secularisation. More than ever, citizens maintain large networks of loyalties. Those networks not only encompass family and friends, but also the cultural and religious communities people identify with, the cities they live in, and the places they were born. Amidst this multitude of loyalties, the attachment to the civic community remains one of the most vital for the well-functioning of society. However, the nature of this civic allegiance is increasingly contested.

In Faithful Citizens, Pieter Dronkers analyses the political use of liberal, conservative, and nationalist conceptions of civic allegiance to regulate citizens’ loyalties. The central question is: How do definitions of civic allegiance interfere with the freedom to remain attached to religious traditions? Recent discussions in the Netherlands on the loyalty of immigrants, especially Muslims, are analysed and used to evaluate different approaches to allegiance. In this political theological study, Dronkers argues that,more than anything else, civic allegiance should be proven through public engagement with the community of citizens.