Ulrich Schmiedel is Lecturer in Theology, Politics and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh, where he serves as Deputy Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues. He is the author of Elasticized Ecclesiology: The Concept of Community after Ernst Troeltsch (2017) and Terror und Theologie: Der religionstheoretische Diskurs der 9/11-Dekade (2021) as well as the co-author of The Claim to Christianity: Responding to the Far Right (2020), with Hannah Strømmen.
Normative distinctions between “honest” and “hijacked” Christianity are a recurrent reference in research on populism. Yet the practices in which Christianity is embedded and embodied paint a more complicated picture. By re-drawing the distinction between the “honest” and the “hijacked,” these practices enable critiques of the anti-Muslim racism that runs through populist politics.
Combinations of theology and anthropology have been criticized for losing track of what theology ought to be about. Yet this loss might be precisely what enables scholars to understand political practices which point towards that which escapes both the theological and the anthropological grasp—a pointer which could be crucial to fashion solidarities that connect faiths in the pursuit of justice.