The rise and fall of IS, the increase in right-wing extremism and terrorist attacks across Europe have reignited an interesting discussion in the study of extremism concerning the role of religion. Some scholars have argued that youth who are radicalized is not motivated by religion and neither should religion, alone, be seen as a cause for violent extremism. Others emphasize the role of religion as a cause for radicalization and extremism. Scholars have tried to explore the issues of religious radicalization and extremism through different theoretical approaches and by emphasizing different levels of analysis. However, much is written on these concepts on the basis of little primary research. What perspectives and approaches can sociology of religion offer for comprehending the issues of religious radicalization and extremism?
University of Oslo, Norway