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Religion and secularism

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Religion and secularism

  2. 2. Main sources - Fitzgerald, Timothy (2011), Religion and Politics in International Relations: The Modern Myth, UK & USA Continuum International Publishing Group. - Fox, Jonathan & Sandler, Shmuel (2004), Bringing Religion into International Relations, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Thomas, M. Scott (2005), The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations: The Struggle for the Soul of the Twenty-First Century, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Yihua, XU (2012), “Religion and International Relations in the Age of Globalization”, Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (in Asia) Vol. 6, No. 4, 19-50. - Shuriye, O.Abdi (March 2011), “The Failed Assumptions of Some Social Scientists on the Role of Religion in International Relations”, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Vol. 1, No.3, 11-17. - Snyder, Jack (July 27, 2009 ), Religion and International Relations Theory.
  3. 3. Religion - Scholars have failed to agree on a definition of religion. There are however two general definition systems: the sociological/functional and the phenomenological/philosophical - Religion may be defined as a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. - There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism.
  4. 4. Religion Secularism: is the transformation of the politics of a society from close identification with a particular religion's values and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions. The purpose of this is frequently modernization or protection of the populations religious diversity. laicism: is a French concept of secularism. While the term was first used with this meaning in 1871 in the dispute over the removal of religious teachers and instruction from elementary schools, the word laïcisme dates to 1842. Laïcité relies on the division between private life, where adherents believe religion belongs, and the public sphere, in which each individual, adherents believe, should appear as a simple citizen equal to all other citizens, devoid of ethnic, religious or other particularities. atheism: is in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities.
  5. 5. Secularism - Human versus God - science and wise versus revelation - sensibility and feelings versus Supernaturalism and metaphysic - rational choice and the cost benefit principle or cost benefit versus beliefs
  6. 6. What causes the secularism?! - Oppression by Catholic church - Catholic vs. Protestant - Thirty Years' War; 1618 to 1648 - Westphalia peace: This is the idea that religion is, or should be, privatized, restricted to the area of private life in domestic and international politics. - Enlightenment thinkers such as Erasmus, John Locke, Denis Diderot, Voltaire, Baruch Spinoza, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine; and from more recent freethinkers and atheists such as Robert Ingersoll, Bertrand Russell, and Christopher Hitchens. It shifts the focus from religion to other ‘temporal’ and ‘this-worldly’ things with emphasis on nature, reason, science, and development - democracy, globalization, modernization and technology - French revolution - The Inquisition
  7. 7. Modernization - Modernism is based on Human will and effort versus religious beliefs and metaphysic and also human-reliance versus God-reliance. - Modernism is based on Existentialism, Moral nihilism (also known as ethical nihilism, amoralism or the error theory), humanism idea. - Modernity Vs. Modernism
  8. 8. Existentialism – What It Is and Isn’t Existentialism takes into consideration the underlying concepts: - Human free will - Human nature is chosen through life choices - A person is best when struggling against their individual nature, fighting for life - Decisions are not without stress and consequences - There are things that are not rational - Personal responsibility and discipline is crucial - Society is unnatural and its traditional religious and secular rules are arbitrary - Worldly desire is futile
  9. 9. Why the logic of the new international relations & religion are against each other: 1. The logic of international relations affects governments, and in particular the great powers, while that religion addresses individuals and communities, and for this reason, this concern there is a revival of religions with a set of transnational loyalty, loyalty challenges to national governments, which are the basis for the formation of the international community to make; 2. The logic of international relations is formed on the basis of personal or national interests, while that religion, in its general sense, considers divine values to be the basis of human action.
  10. 10. The logic of the new international relations Vs. religion * Scott M. Thomas: Religion is a problem in the field of international relations at two distinct levels. - First, in recent years religious fundamentalism and religious difference have emerged as crucial factors in international conflict, national security, and foreign policy. This development has come as a surprise to many scholars and practitioners. Much contemporary foreign policy, especially in the United States, is being quickly rewritten to account for this change. - Second, the power of this resurgence of religion in world politics does not fit into existing categories of thought in academic relations. Conventional understandings of international relations, focused on material capabilities and strategic interaction, exclude from the start the possibility that religion could be a fundamental organizing force in the international system. (Fitzgerald, 2011: 207-8)
  11. 11. The logic of the new international relations Vs. religion - the foreign policy predilections of the Christian Right towards Israel and Southern Sudan, the complications of faith-based Western activism abroad, the Dalai Lama and the Falun Gong as potential destabilizers of officially atheist but increasingly neo-Confucian China, and the Myanmar military regime’s fear of a potential alliance of Burmese monks and international refugee organizations. Perhaps religious international politics had been there all along, but it suddenly became harder to ignore. (Snyder, 2009: 1) - One reason for this neglect is that mainstream international relations scholars find it difficult to integrate religious subject matter into their normal conceptual frameworks. The foundational statements of the three leading paradigms—by Kenneth Waltz for realism, Michael Doyle and Robert Keohane for liberalism, and Alexander Wendt for constructivism— offer no explicit guidance on how to do this, and in some cases imply that a role for religion may not be allowable within the logics of their paradigms. (Ibid)
  12. 12. The logic of the new international relations Vs. religion - Religion to be violent and dangerous to reason, freedom, and political stability. (Thomas, 2005: 21) - Religion also emphasizes universality, borderlessness and most of times cooperation. Likewise, international relations is a system that attempts, to allocate and define international values through the state interest, political power and moral legitimacy. - the core texts that international relations scholars and students read in the late 1990s such as Hans Morgenthau's Politics Among Nations and Kenneth Waltz's Theory of International Politics in fact provide nothing momentous to understand the function of religion in politics. Instead they both wave their readers off of religion and do not mention it all. Power and how it was distributed among states was the key to explain international relations. (Monica Duffy Toft, 2010; Shuriye, 2011: 11) - All else was in the service of that power. When religious ideas entered the argument, they were viewed as instrumental means employed by statesman to gain power or to eliminate political enemy. (Monica Duffy Toft, 2010; Shuriye, 2011: 11)
  13. 13. The logic of the new international relations Vs. religion - (Jonathan Fox et al., 2004): “Western social scientists did not give religion much weight in their theories and in fact often predicted its demise as a significant social and political force…this is a tendency strongly rooted within the field of international relations than in the rest of the social science.” - international relations is western centric. - (Jonathan Fox et al., 2004): “The rare cases where international relations literature deals with religion, it is presented as a secondary aspect of the topic.” (Shuriye, 2011: 13) - the study of international relation is heavily influenced by behavioralism school of thought - Nietzscher’s “God is dead”, “is a thesis that refers to the loss of credibility in Christianity and loss of commitment to absolute values”. (Shuriye, 2011: 13)
  14. 14. The Resurgence of Religion - The principle of thesis and anti-thesis - Religion as a source of conflict and problem solving in the international system - Samuel Huntington’s clash of civilizations thesis - Democracy, globalization, modernization and technology - Legitimacy and religion - Theorizing Religion in International Relations - Iranian Islamic revolution - Religious war in 1980s and 1990s - September 11 attacks
  15. 15. The Resurgence of Religion - the acts of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda - the worldwide rise of religious fundamentalism; - religious rebellions and opposition movements throughout the Islamic world including Egypt, Algeria, and Afghanistan; - religio-political movements like the liberation theology movement in Latin America; - an ethno-religious conflicts like those in Chechnya, East Timor, Tibet, Sudan, and Sri Lanka. - Dr. Thomas shows that the impact of religion on international affairs today is more wide ranging than Islamic terrorism or religious extremism, and includes the activity of Catholic charismatics, Protestant Evangelicals and Pentecostals, the mainline churches, Western Buddhists, and a variety of “New Age” religions on a whole range of global issues from wars and civil conflicts in Bosnia, Uganda, Liberia, and elsewhere to debates over gender, the family, sexuality, diplomacy, democracy, the environment, and foreign assistance to poor countries. (Thomas, 2005: ix)
  16. 16. The Resurgence of Religion - Daniel Philpott and Timothy Shah point out that religion is older than the state, and its aims encompass not just politics but all of life. (Snyder 2009: 4) - How could so many scholars and policymakers who monitored the politics of Iran have missed the warning signs about what was happening? Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s Advisor on National Security Affairs, has acknowledged that Islamic fundamentalism was a phenomenon largely ignored in U.S. intelligence reports, and the intelligence system allowed the president and his advisors little preparation for the way the Iranian situation so shockingly and suddenly disintegrated. (Thomas, 2005: 1) - U.S. intelligence experts, as well as William Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador in Tehran, ignored the particular challenge posed by Islamic fundamentalism. Ayatollah Khomeini was dismissed as a “Gandhi-like” figure with little future role in Iran. (bid)
  17. 17. The Resurgence of Religion - far more wide-ranging phenomenon than religious terrorism, extremism, or fundamentalism. (Thomas, 2005: 10) - The global resurgence of religion taking place in the developed world—charismatic Catholics and Catholic conservatives, evangelicals and Pentecostal Protestants, New Age spiritualists, Western Buddhists, and Japanese traditionalists—is part of a larger crisis of modernity in the West. (Thomas, 2005: 10-11) - what Joseph Nye has called soft power—ideas, belief systems, and ideologies—or more broadly the role of culture in explaining and understanding international relations.(12) - Religious diaspora communities (Thomas, 2005: 30) - new religious movements in the sociology of religion—such as the Fulan Gong and Pentecostalism, Missionary activity, as a North–South Activity
  18. 18. Theorizing Religion in International Relations - Samuel Huntington’s clash of civilizations thesis - Joseph Nye’s soft power thesis - Post modernization theories - two volumes edited by Fabio Petito and Pavlos Hatzopolous: ‘Religion and International Relations’, a special issue of Millennium Journal of International Relations (2000); - Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile (2003). Some authors, such as Vendulka Kubálková, Scott M. Thomas, Carsten Bagge Laustsen and Ole Wæver, contribute to both volumes. - The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations (2005). - God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Hitchens 2007) - Radical, Religious and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism (Berman 2009),
  19. 19. Negative theorizing of religion - (Vendulka KabalKova, 2000): “Religion tends to be characterized as fundamentalist, extreme, radical or military.” (Shuriye, 2011: 13) - Samuel Huntington’s clash of civilizations thesis which holds the view that religion has emerged as one of the primary causes of conflict in international relations in 1993. Huntington predicted the likelihood of religion replacing the nation-state as the primary source of international conflicts. - Huntington divided the world into eight major civilizations and the Islamic civilization as one of these civilizations was solely defined on the basis of religion. Huntington also grouped all Muslims under that civilization regardless of their background, localization, territorial, physical traits or nationality. In Huntington’s view, three types of conflict will take place; first, state conflict; second, international fault-lines conflict; and third, domestic fault-lines conflicts.
  20. 20. Approaches to integrating religion into international relations theory 1) to construct new theories; 2) to examine an existing international relations theory to fit religion into it in as many ways as possible; 3) to first develop a comprehensive list of ways in which religion can potentially influence international relations, then to take this list and examine whether and how each item can be integrated into an existing international relations paradigm.
  21. 21. Two Images of Religion One is that religion is essentially peace-loving, non-violent, non- political, non-profitmaking, concerned with the inner spiritual life and the other world. Religion has nothing to do with power. Religion is benign and gentle. Religion is a matter of personal faith and piety, essentially separated from the non-religious secular state, from the rough-and-tumble of practical politics, and from economics. (Fitzgerald, 2011: 78)
  22. 22. Two Images of Religion The other image of religion is that it is essentially barbarous, violent and irrational, causing conflict and mayhem wherever it raises its ugly head. This view of religion as essentially violent and irrational is popular today, especially since 9/11, and in this discourse the irrational violence of ‘religious’ terrorists and ‘religious’ nationalists around the world threatens the essentially peace- loving and reasonable nature of the non-religious secular state. (Fitzgerald, 2011: 78)
  23. 23. The Islamic Revival and International Relations It is a call of the return of Islamic values and its ethical political systems. It is a call upon all Muslims to reevaluate themselves, their institutions, their educational system, political and social systems; it is a renewal of religious thoughts, cultural purification, Islamization of attitudes and return to pure Islamic teachings. It is a call of reorientation to understand the Qur’an so that Muslims could climb the hierarchy of success among nations in the world, compete in knowledge and command respect. It is a search for the true power that Muslims lost, it is a search for the original position of the Muslims in this world (Khaira ummatin), it is an attempt to correct and shape a perfect worldview (Tasawur Islami), it is a comprehensive agenda. (Shuriye, 2011: 15)
  24. 24. Misconceptions about Islam  Women Have No Rights  Preaches Terrorism  Hates Everyone but Muslims  Polygamy is widespread  Muslims worship Muhammad (PBUH)  Cannot adapt to Western societies
  25. 25. The future development of international relations will mainly revolve around the Islamic revival 1. More Muslims are joining this school of thought and majority of them are of young age, 2. Muslim population around the world is increasing, 3. The number of Muslim immigrants have swell into what use to be “Christian land” such as Europe and United States of America, 4. Western culture and values have failed to redirect or penetrate the minds of Muslim youth, 5. The economic development which was meant to modernize the Muslim world supported by Western nations is not gaining momentum, 6. Governments in Muslim nations are becoming weaker by the day, 7. The spread of nuclear weapons into numerous hands is in the predictable future,
  26. 26. The future development of international relations will mainly revolve around the Islamic revival 8. The hatred by Muslim youth toward America and Israel is of its highest in centuries, 9. More Muslim nations are militarily becoming powerful, take Iran as an instance. 10. The containment of Muslim militants or formulation of rehabilitation mechanism is proving intricate, 11. As the world political map changes economically and politically America will in the near future sit down with equal partners in the international arena and that scenario may further consolidate the power of the militant groups, 12. The secular governments in the Muslim world are in power only because of the protection provided by the west. 13. If fair and free elections are conducted in the Muslim world today, the Islamic parties will come to power, 14. The number of young Muslims joining the radical and far-reaching Islamic groups, such as al-Qaeda, alshabaab and Taliban is doubling every year since the invasion of Iraq, 15. Muslims perceive the destruction of Iraq as annihilation of Islamic civilization and that has left a deep- seated resentment in the minds of many Muslims. (Shuriye, 2011: 16)
  27. 27. Trends in the Global South The rise of political Islam The growth of Christian churches, especially in Africa Rise of Christian-Muslim tensions and conflicts
  28. 28. Religion and war - 1745 wars have taken place in human history (The Encyclopedia of Wars) - Over 420 - religious in nature - Christianity and Islam have been involved in over 85% of the religious wars.
  29. 29. Religion & Security - Cunningham, Brian H. (2009), Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps: Instability in the Middle East, supervisor professor: Douglas E. Streusand, MA Thesis, Marine Corps University, 2009. - Dark, K. R. (2000), Religion and International Relations, Great Britain: Macmillan Press LTD.; USA: ST. MARTIN’S PRESS. - Ferrara, Pasquale (2014), Global Religions and International Relations: A Diplomatic Perspective, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Fitzgerald, Timothy (2011), Religion and Politics in International Relations: The Modern Myth, UK & USA Continuum International Publishing Group. - Fox, Jonathan & Sandler, Shmuel (2004), Bringing Religion into International Relations, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Hatzopoulos, Pavlos & Petito, Fabio (2003), Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Haynes, Jeffrey (2014), An Introduction to International Relations and Religion, USA: Routledge. Hirono, Miwa (2008), Civilizing Missions. International Religious Agencies in China, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Hustinx, Lesley; von Essen, Johan; Haers, Jacques & Mels, Sara (2015), Religion and Volunteering Complex, Contested and Ambiguous Relationships, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
  30. 30. - Johnson, Thomas A. (2012), Power, National Security, and Transformational Global Events: Challenges Confronting America, China, and Iran, USA: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. - Klein Goldewijk, Berma (2007), Religion, International Relations and Development Cooperation, The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers. - Lapid, Yosef & Kratochwil, Friedrich (2013), Why the West Fears Islam: An Explanation of Muslim in Liberal Democracies, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Luoma-aho, Mika (2012), God and International Relations Christian Theology and World Politics, London: Continuum International Publishing Group. - Mavelli, Luca & Petito, Fabio (2014), Towards a postsecular international politics: new forms of community, identity, and power, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Pettman, Ralph (2004), Reason, Culture, Religion: The Metaphysics of World Politics, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Reus-Smit, Christian & Wheeler, J. Nicholas (2011), War, Religion and Empire, USA: Cambridge Studies in International Relations. - Robertson, E. Ann (2007), Global Issues: Terrorism and Global Security, USA: Facts On File. - Rogers, Paul (2010), Losing Control: Global Security in the Twenty-first Century, USA: Pluto Press. - Rougier, Bernard & Lacroix, Stéphane (2016), Egypt’s Revolutions: Politics, Religion, and Social Movements, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. - S. Michael, Michális & Petito, Fabio (2009), Civilizational Dialogue and World Order: - The Other Politics of Cultures, Religions, and Civilizations in International Relations, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. - Sandal, Nukhet A. & Fox, Jonathan (2013), Religion in International Relations Theory: Interactions and possibilities, The USA and Canada: Routledge. - Yoshihara, Susan (2010), Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts, USA: Preager Security International.
  31. 31. Religion & Security EDWARD SAID: I quote him, "The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics." Later he explains how it is that the principal clash will be between Western and non Western civilization, but he spends most of his time in the two works, discussing the disagreements, potential or actual, between what he calls the West on the one hand, and on the other, Islamic and Confucian civilizations. In terms of detail, a great deal more attention, hostile attention, is paid to Islam than to any other civilization including the West.
  32. 32. Religion & Security - Huntington concluded : "The West must exploit differences and conflicts among Confucian and Islamic states to support in other civilizations groups sympathetic to Western values and interests. To strengthen international institutions that reflect and legitimate western interests and values, and to promote the involvement of nonwestern states in those institutions.“ = westernization. - Edward said : Shouldn't we be asking the question, why is one doing this sort of thing? To understand or to act?