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Photo: “Évértékelő 2020 (5)“, by Elekes Andor licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Hue modified from the original

Lamour, Christian. “Orbán Urbi et Orbi: Christianity as a Nodal Point of Radical-Right Populism.” Politics and Religion, May 6, 2021, 1–27.


There is one European state leader from the moderate Christian-democrat center right who has developed a discourse and policies showing his progressive move toward the radical right: Viktor Orbán. Can Christianity be considered from a Laclauian perspective, as a “nodal point” of Orbán’s radical right discourse; that is, a key element around which his antagonistic narratives are structured? Based on an analysis of segments of Orbán’s speeches between 2014 and 2019 that mention Christianity, the research reveals that this religion is a nodal point for three main reasons: (1) the density of Christian references used to shape a negative and antagonistic discourse, strategically adjusted to his audience; (2) the use of Christianity to ground the three ideological pillars of the radical right (populism, nativism, and authoritarianism); and (3) the mobilization of Christianity to organize a hegemonic struggle against the dominant political force that has defined the meaning of this religion in the European public sphere—the moderate center right.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.