Conclusion: The Theological Takeover
In the conclusion, Ulrich Schmiedel and Graeme Smith summarize the role of religion in the current refugee crisis by suggesting that civil and notso-civil theologies have taken over the public square. Their suggestion, inspired by Robert Bellah’s concept of civil religion, points to the significance of theologies that are always already operant in the controversies stirred up by immigration into Europe. Crucially, the operation of these theologies is independent of religion, in the sense that it requires neither religious practice nor religious participation in institutions such as churches. If Europe’s public square has been taken over by theologies, the requirements for reflection on the role of religion changes accordingly. These are changes that scholars need to confront. Schmiedel and Smith sketch what such a confrontation could look like in order to point to the instructive and important avenues that the contributions to this compilation have opened up in terms of public scholarship in the current refugee crisis.