Language, Religion and National Identity in Europe and the Middle East: A Historical Study

Front Cover
John Benjamins Publishing, Jan 1, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 300 pages
This book discusses the historical record of the idea that language is associated with national identity, demonstrating that different applications of this idea have consistently produced certain types of results. Nationalist movements aimed at 'unification', based upon languages which vary greatly at the spoken level, e.g. German, Italian, Pan-Turkish and Arabic, have been associated with aggression, fascism and genocide, while those based upon relatively homogeneous spoken languages, e.g. Czech, Norwegian and Ukrainian, have resulted in national liberation and international stability. It is also shown that religion can be more important to national identity than language, but only for religious groups which were understood in premodern times to be national rather than universal or doctrinal, e.g. Jews, Armenians, Maronites, Serbs, Dutch and English; this is demonstrated with discussions of the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the civil war in Lebanon and the breakup of Yugoslavia, the United Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

For Slavic people and the people call themselves “Greek” the religion has been more important to national identity than language.
For Albanians the language has been more important to national
identity rather than religion.
Most of what is written about Albanians are lies. Albanians are generalized by modern scholars based on paranoid interpretations mostly rooted on biases. What is written from scholars is an evidence of the narcissistic literature. Scholars who have a nationality and religion did and do the same mistake that common people do, jumping and staying in a big bandwagon.
History scholars keep doing the same thing first scholars have been paid for by elites: practice untruthfulness under the protective veneer of the name “scholar”.


Premodern national churches Roman Europe and the Caliphate
Small languages and national liberation
Big languages delusions of grandeur war and fascism
Language religion and nationalism in Europe
Language religion and nationalism in the Middle East
The series Discourse Approaches to Politics Society and Culture

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information