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Religion and Global Politics

Paul S. Rowe

Publication Date - 04 May 2012

ISBN: 9780195438123

296 pages
7.0 x 9.0 inches


The only text of its kind, Religion and Global Politics highlights the potency and enduring nature of religion in global politics and asks students to consider religion as a serious motivator of political desire. Offering a balanced and objective perspective, Part I examines a variety of faith perspectives including Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. It presents carefully selected case studies that introduce students to the empirical and theoretical questions underpinning religion and politics in the United States, Europe, India, East Asia, and Latin America, at both the domestic and international level. Part II uses essential concepts to explore the role that religion plays in the construction of global order and the ways in which religious groups affect the political process in contemporary societies in terms of human rights, war and peace, conflict resolution, and globalization. An accessible introduction to the text provides students with context, laying out the history of religion in global politics and the theories that unite and divide political scientists. A conclusion encourages students to apply what they have learned by discussing the future of religion in global politics.

Designed for undergraduate students, Religion and Global Politics incorporates pedagogical tools including bolded key terms, chapter-review questions, boxed inserts, chapter conclusions, additional sources, web resources, and a glossary.


Interdisciplinary perspective: The only book that intentionally caters to undergraduate students in religious studies, political science, sociology, and international relations

Balanced perspective: Motivates students to think critically about the subject and form their own world views

Practical context: Case studies bring the issues to life, helping students to contextualize theories with examples from real situations

Thought-provoking treatment: Encourages students to engage with theories and concepts and to think about the permanent role that religion plays in politics, even in secular states

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction and General Theoretical Overview
    A New Beginning?
    Religion in the Pre-modern International System
    The Post-Westphalian System and the Secularization of International Politics
    Modernization and Secularization
    Critiques of Secularization
    Perspectives on the Politics of Ethnicity and Religion
    Taking Culture Seriously
    Reactions to Globalization
    11 September and After
    Understanding Religion: Definitions and Directions
    Religion and Global Politics: A Survey
    2. The Vatican, Roman Catholicism, and Liberation
    A Brief History of the Roman Catholic Church
    The Church and the Vatican Today
    Liberation Theology: Origins
    Responses to Liberation Theology
    New Challenges, Change, and Continuity
    3. Christianity and U.S. Foreign Policy
    The "City upon a Hill": Competing Religious Themes in U.S. Foreign Policy
    Religion in American Public Life: A Historic Perspective
    The Twentieth Century and "Social Christianity"
    Christianity and the U.S. "Mission" in World Affairs: The Cold War
    Streams of Christian Activism
    The Rise of the "Religious Right"
    "Onward Christian Soldiers?"
    Seeds of a Middle Way
    Other Religious Voices in U.S. Politics
    4. Judaism, Zionism, and Israeli Foreign Policy
    A Brief History of Zionism
    Dimensions of Zionism to 1948
    Political and Ethnic Divisions of Religious Zionism in the State of Israel
    The Settler Movement and the Rise of Israeli Revisionism
    The Rise of Shas
    Religious Parties and Coalition Politics
    The Wider Coalition: Christian Zionism
    5. Political Islam and the State
    Introduction to Islam
    The Fusion of Islam and Politics: A Contentious Debate
    The Medieval and Colonial Age
    Salafism: The Modern Rebirth of Islamic Activism
    Revolutions and Revivalism: Islamism to the 1980s
    The Crucible of Radicalization: Jihadis, bin Laden, and Militant Jihad
    Islamism Today: Democrats and Demagogues
    The Sunni-Shi'i Divide
    6. Religion and Politics in India
    What Is Hinduism?
    Hinduism, Islam, and Indian Independence
    The Rise of Hindu Nationalism
    The Crisis of Secularism and Hindu Nationalism in the 1980s
    The Ayodhya Incident and the Rise of BJP
    Hindutva, Foreign Policy, and the Issue of Kashmir
    Flashpoints and Pressures: The Continuing Problem of Interreligious Relations
    7. Buddhism and Politics
    Buddhism's Rise and Eclipse in India
    The Basic Tenets and Vehicles of Buddhism
    Sri Lanka: Buddhism Betrayed?
    Buddhism in East and Southeast Asia: Protest and Peace
    Tibetan Nationalism: Unattainable Nirvana?
    8. Religion, Democracy, and Human Rights
    Religion and the Expansion of Liberal Democracy
    Human Rights and the Limitation of Religion
    Religions, Human Rights, and Democracy
    Religion in International Human Rights
    Religion and Human Rights in Practice
    Religious Freedom and the Politics of Human Rights
    9. Religion and War
    "Religious" Wars of the Past
    Religion and War in the Modern World
    The Just War Tradition
    The Tradition of War in Islam
    Himsa and Ahimsa Traditions in Hinduism and Buddhism
    Religion and Terrorism
    10. Religion and Conflict Resolution
    Religious Resources for Conflict Resolution
    Religious Activism in Support of Conflict Resolution
    Religion as Interested Observer
    Religion as Peacemaker
    Religion as Protagonist
    Religion as Peace
    11. Transnational Religion, Globalization, and Development
    Religion and Globalization
    The Influence of Transnational Organization: Global Religious Networks
    Religion, the Media, and the Global Political Sphere
    Migration, Religion, and Integration
    Religion and Development
    A Divided World? Notions of Division Based on Religion and Civilization
    Conclusion: Religion in a Secular Age?
    The Rise and Decline of the Secular State
    A Secular Age?
    Hostility or Hospitality?