God and International Relations: Christian Theology and World Politics
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Religion is prevalent in world politics today, and international relation theory is at pains to understand and explain this phenomenon.
This unique study aims to introduce political theology as an appropriate tool to the study of international relations. In accordance with the political theology of Carl Schmitt, which states that modern political concepts are secularized theological concepts, the work questions the "secular" foundations of contemporary international relations theory. Thus it reveals the Christian foundations of the discipline of international relations and delivers a critique of some of its most fundamental theoretical elements, such as its secular view of religion as part of the "irrational," its deification of the political form of the nation state, and its negation of theism in its understanding of responsibility in world politics.
The result is a primer on how international relations and its studies have grown out of the political imagination of Christian theology. It will appeal to anyone interested in critical approaches to the field as well as in politics and religion, political theory, and political theology.
objective standards, especially in ethics, but also in epistemology (Evans 2002, 101). In a world where truth has been made dependent on the worldviews held by individuals or communities, making connections between signs of language and the things signified is getting increasingly difficult. This problem is not one that is limited to theoretical debates on meaning in language, but one that has far reaching implications to the identity claims made not only by religion, but also those secular
Luther’s ethos was that of obedience to ordained authorities without exception, Calvin’s teaching emphasizes obedience to the principle of government, that is as long as the secular authorities lived up to certain requirements of rule, then and only then they were in a position to claim the sanction of divine institution. This is the adjective used by Wolf-Daniel Hartwich, Aleida Assmann, and Jan Assmann in their afterword to the transcript of The Political Theology of Paul by Jacob Taubes—a book
struggle against death with its field of stasis, despair, end, decomposition, loneliness, and sorrow” (ibid.). 9781441138668_Ch02_Final_txt_print.indd 64 2/22/2001 8:22:52 PM Sacralization of International Relations 65 Beer’s take on the matter is developed in the context of a study of congressional debates on the First Gulf War. Expecting to find political leaders using their faculties of reason in making informed decisions of peace and war, the research showed something completely
theory have relied on bodily metaphors; and in history of international theory the most elaborate representations of the world political have relied on personification of the state. The myths and models utilized in IR are closely akin to those utilized by religion. 9781441138668_Ch02_Final_txt_print.indd 88 2/22/2001 8:22:55 PM Sacralization of International Relations 89 Admitted: religion has no clearly bounded domain and the boundaries of the domain of politics or the political are hardly
Rights,” before 1948 we either were not human or we had no rights. According to the controversial philosopher of the counter-Enlightenment Joseph de Maistre “[n]o constitution results from deliberation; the rights of the people are never written, or never except as simple declarations of pre-existing rights not written, of which nothing more can be said, than that they exist because they exist” (de Maistre 1977, xi). This statement may not hold without exception, but certainly has something going