For many years religion has been the neglected component of international relations and yet in an age of globalization and terrorism, religious identity has become increasingly important in the lives of people in the West as well as the developing world. The secularization thesis has been overtaken by an increased desire to understand how religious actors contribute to both conflict and the resolution of conflict. This volume brings an exciting new perspective with fresh ideas and analyses of the events shaping conflict and conflict resolution today. The book uniquely combines chapters highlighting Christian and Islamist theological approaches to understanding and interpreting conflict, as well as case studies on the role of religion in US foreign policy and the Iraq war, with religious perspectives on building peace once conflicts are resolved. The volume provides an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the religious character of conflict in the twenty-first century and how such conflict could be resolved.
Rosemary Durward, Co-Convenor of the British International Studies Association Working Group on International Relations, Security and Religion, Ordinand in the Church of England and Senior Lecturer in the Defence and International Affairs Department at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst UK and Lee Marsden, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of East Anglia, UK and Co-Convenor of the BISA US Foreign Policy Working Group.
'It is easy enough to say, "If religion is a part of the problem, it also needs to be a part of the solution", but how can this perspective influence foreign policy and our understanding of international relations? Finally, here is a book that begins to take seriously the actual religious beliefs, values, and practices of religious actors - terrorist groups as well as states, and it brings political theology into our understanding of conflict, terrorism, and military intervention in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. However, it also helps us to see more clearly how religion and theology can be used as part of conflict resolution in these countries.' Scott M. Thomas, University of Bath, UK, author of The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations '... this symposium is an excellent overview of an important subject area, delivered by specialist writers from diverse backgrounds... This volume dares to explore the Christian justification or otherwise of such interventions and looks through Islamic eyes at the disastrous twenty-first century Western military adventures affecting Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan... a remarkable survey of the social, political, and theological values of Pakistan's tribal areas... brilliantly set out...This indexed symposium 'aims to contribute to mutual understanding and respect' and so to encourage constructive engagement. Largely, it succeeds; I commend it.' Journal of Contemporary Religion