Faith, Nationalism and the Future of Liberal Democracy: Dr Tobias Cremer’s new book


Congratulations to Junior Research Fellow Dr Tobias Cremer, who has recently co-written a new book titled Faith, Nationalism, and the Future of Liberal Democracy, published by the University of Notre Dame Press.

The book explores the way in which religious identity can be weaponised to fuel populist and nationalist revolts against liberal democracy, and how different faiths can counter this by incorporating democratic values into their institutions. The book includes an analysis of the history and modern-day direction of these trends in both Western Europe and the United States.

The book has received considerable praise since its release on May 1st, with American author Robert D. Putnam hailing the work as ‘A timely, constructive, and empirically grounded exploration of the tensions among religion, identity, and liberal democracy in the United States and around the world’.

Tobias joined Pembroke at the start of this academic year as a Junior Research Fellow in Religion and the Frontier Challenges, an interdisciplinary research unit established in 2019 to explore the role of religion in the contemporary world. He spoke about the book and his overall experience in his first year at Pembroke:

“I am very excited that Faith, Nationalism and the Future of Liberal Democracy has been published during my time at Pembroke, as the research that I’m currently conducting with the Religion and Frontier Challenges Programme picks up and expands on many of the themes of the book.

In particular, while my co-authored volume looks at the how religious identity can be instrumentalised by the far right, my new research project at Pembroke explores how secularisation itself has also facilitated the rise of a new post-religious populist right in the West, which interacts with the old religious right in very interesting and surprising ways.

In spite of the circumstances of the pandemic, Pembroke has been an extremely welcoming and stimulating environment for me to pursue these research endeavours, and I am looking forward to engaging with the College community even more meaningfully over the coming months.”