Faculty Writing: On the Illiberal Appeal to Religion, and Our Changing Relationship to Work

Writing in Aeon, Suzy Schneider goes beyond the familiar diagnoses of hypocrisy and instrumentalism to understand what is new in the contemporary right-wing’s appeal to religious identity. In the post-liberal order, she argues, religious belonging has ceased to be a private matter of belief—just as political communities are less and less bound together by consensus or “some sort of voluntary agreement.” Rather, within the “contours of a new illiberal religiosity,” religious belonging has acquired a new grounding in ethnicity that drastically undercuts liberal principles of equality, freedom, and choice.

And, writing in The Nation, Alyssa Battistoni takes the occasion of reviewing recent books by Aaron Benavav and Sarah Jaffee to reflect on “recent developments in the politics of labor,” from the Great Resignation to unionization wins to rising wages. Should we understand these phenomena as “aftershocks” of the pandemic, she asks, or are they indicators of a broader, more sweeping trend?

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