Roger Griffin, Emeritus Professor at Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom, hopes to stimulate discussion on the deeper cultural forces driving the rise of populism, fascism, identity politics, xenophobic nationalism and politicized and terrorist forms of radical religion around the world. In particular, he will look at the forces of secularization and globalization that have “disenchanted” the world for many and provoked a crisis of meaning and identity that is now unleashing a tsunami of ethnocentric and xenophobic “hate politics’ directed against perceived enemies. This in turn fuels such phenomena as Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and exclusionist forms of state politics in countries such as the UK, US, Russia, China, Hungary and Israel.
The talk then considers the phenomenon known as “heroic doubling” which can create both the destructive acts of terrorism terrorism and inhuman acts, as well as a human, empathetic and compassionate one in which we can all nurture inside ourselves, whatever our religion or lack of it.
Despite retirement, Professor Griffin continues to pursue his research interests in fascism, populism, terrorism and more generally the way modern society generates a permanent crisis of identity for many, leading to a constant flow of minority movements of extremism and fanaticism.
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