The purpose of this paper is to problematize the place of religious authority in politics and education. Specifically, this essay highlights the role of religious authority in establishing a moral order that values compliance and conformity at the expense of liberty and critique. In doing so, the essay reflects on Israeli politics and Islamic political thought. Pondering on both, the essay explains how the authority conferred through the use of religious language creates a condition of hyper-solidarity. Under conditions of hyper-solidarity, religious authority becomes pervasive, permeating, and more entrenched and difficult to challenge. It becomes increasingly difficult to be critical, because to criticize is to forgo that hyper-solidarity, and to assume a position of exteriority. Therefore, obedience becomes a choice and a position taken in favor of stability, consistency, and continuity of the group.
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- Islamic political thought
- Israeli politics
- Religious authority
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