Evangelicals have been scandalized by their association with Donald Trump, their megachurches summarily dismissed as “religious Walmarts.” In The Subversive Evangelical Peter Schuurman shows how a growing group of “reflexive evangelicals” use irony to critique their own tradition and distin- guish themselves from the stereotype of right-wing evangelicalism. Entering the Meeting House – an Ontario-based Anabaptist megachurch – as a participant observer, Schuurman discovers that the marketing is clever and the venue (a rented movie theatre) is attractive to the more than five thou- sand weekly attendees. But the heart of the church is its charismatic leader, Bruxy Cavey, whose anti-religious teaching and ironic tattoos offer a fresh image for evangelicals. This charisma, Schuurman argues, is not just the power of one individual; it is a dramatic production in which Cavey, his staff, and attendees cooperate, cultivating an identity as an “irreligious” megachurch and providing followers with a more culturally acceptable way to practise their faith in a secular age. Going behind the scenes to small group meetings, church dance parties, and the homes of attendees to investigate what motivates these reflexive evangelicals, Schuurman reveals a playful and provocative counterculture that distances itself from prevailing stereotypes while still embracing a conservative Christian faith. Peter J. Schuurman is adjunct professor at Redeemer University College, instructor in the Doctor of Ministry program at Tyndale University College and Seminary, and executive director of Global Scholars Canada. Over the last few decades, politicians in Europe and North America have fiercely debated the effects of a growing Muslim minority on their respective national identities. Some of these countries have prohibited Islamic religious coverings in public spaces and institutions, while in others, legal restriction remains subject to intense political conflict. Seeking to understand these different outcomes, social scientists have focused on the role of countries’ historically rooted models of nationhood and their attendant discourses of secularism. Emily Laxer’s Unveiling the Nation problematizes this approach. Using France and Quebec as illustrative cases, she traces how the struggle of political parties for power and legitimacy shapes states’ responses to Islamic signs. Drawing on historical evidence and behind-the-scenes interviews with politi- cians and activists, Laxer uncovers unseen links between structures of partisan conflict and the strategies that political actors employ when articulating the secular boundaries of the nation. In France’s historically class-based political system, she demonstrates, parties on the left and the right have converged around a restrictive secular agenda in order to limit the siphoning of votes by the ultra-right. In Quebec, by contrast, the longstanding electoral salience of the “national question” has encouraged political actors to project highly conflicting images of the province’s secular past, present, and future. At a moment of heightened debate in the global politics of religious diver- sity, Laxer’s Unveiling the Nation sheds critical light on the way party politics and its related instabilities shape the secular boundaries of nationhood in diverse societies. Emily Laxer is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at York University. 1 8 S P E C I F I C AT I O N S April 2019 -5,7a755pl7lns-7h 4phi-l£ bAU1 4phi-l£ Dc1 ksni-- 6o602 -5,7a755pl7lns,75 4Ssaiaac bAU1 4Ssaiaac Dc1 k-niaa $.9ru n B - p5n66 s 6u9r931 l roN.03 0g99T omot.oN.0 M Q U P S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 S P E C I F I C AT I O N S £Cmo8$t8: crdCt03 t8 w0.t:t98 c02t03 May 2019 -5,7a755pl7l5pp7, 4psi-l£ bAU1 4psi-l£ Dc1 kshi-- 6o602 -5,7a755pl7l5ps7S 4Ssaiaac bAU1 4Ssaiaac Dc1 k-niaa $.9ru n B - pna66 n 6u9r931 s roN.031 h Cto:2ox3 0g99T omot.oN.0 Unveiling the Nation The Politics of Secularism in France and Quebec emily laxer Party politics and the production of nationhood in the Islamic signs debate. R E L I G I O U S S T U D I E S • S O C I O L O G Y P O L I T I C A L S T U D I E S • S O C I O L O G Y The Subversive Evangelical The Ironic Charisma of an Irreligious Megachurch peter j. schuurman A close investigation of a new wave of “reflexive evangelicals,” whose playful critique of their own faith wins crowds.