The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic raised questions about how the health crisis, government-imposed lockdowns, and economic recession would affect religious faith and behavior. While many social scientists expected it to strengthen religiosity as people turned to their faith for comfort in a time of need, others suspected a religious recession could result from the limitations on communal religious activity. In this episode, we speak with three political scientists, Tarek Masoud, A. Kadir Yildirim, and Peter Mandaville, about their new study of religious behavior following the pandemic in the Muslim-majority countries of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia in November and December of 2020.
Tarek Masoud is Faculty Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University, Professor of Public Policy, and Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman Professor of International Relations at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
A. Kadir Yildirim is Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Twitter: @akyildirim
Peter Mandaville is Professor of International Affairs at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. Twitter: @pmandaville