Religion, State and the United Nations: Value Politics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Religion, State and the United Nations

Value Politics, 1st Edition

Edited by Anne Stensvold


200 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138938656
pub: 2016-08-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315675572
pub: 2016-07-22
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This volume approaches the UN as a laboratory of religio-political value politics. Over the last two decades religion has acquired increasing influence in international politics, and religious violence and terrorism has attracted much scholarly attention. But there is another parallel development which has gone largely unnoticed, namely the increasing political impact of peaceful religious actors.

With several religious actors in one place and interacting under the same conditions, the UN is as a multi-religious society writ small. The contributors to this book analyse the most influential religious actors at the UN (including The Roman Catholic Church; The Organisation of Islamic Countries; the Russian Orthodox Church). Mapping the peaceful political engagements of religious actors; who they are and how they collaborate with each other - whether on an ad hoc basis or by forming more permanent networks - throwing light at the modus operandi of religious actors at the UN; their strategies and motivations. The chapters are closely interrelated through the shared focus on the UN and common theoretical perspectives, and pursue two intertwined aspects of religious value politics, namely the whys and hows of cross-religious cooperation on the one hand, and the interaction between religious actors and states on the other.

Drawing together a broad range of experts on religious actors, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of Religion and Politics, International Relations and the UN.


'As the title suggests, Religion, State and the United Nations seeks to analyse the role that religion plays at the United Nations (UN), as well as its impact on the policies of the UN that flow down to the national level. It is a collection of 11 essays divided into two parts, ‘Religion at the United Nations’ and ‘Religion and state’, and forms part of a wider Routledge book series on the role of religion in various international fora.' - Paul Coleman, ADF, Vienna

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Engaging on global issues in a UN setting: Religious actors

[Katherine Marshall]

Chapter 2: The United Alliance of Civilisations and improved global dialogue

[Jeffrey Haynes]

Chapter 3: Hate speech and holy prophets: Tracing the OIC's strategies to protect religion

[Marie Juul Petersen and Heini Skorini]

Chapter 4: Negotiating traditional values. The Russian Orthodox Church

[Vebjørn Horsfjord]

Chapter 5: Internal affairs? Assessing NGO engagement for religious freedom

[Helge Årsheim]

Chapter 6: Religion, state and symbol politic. The Catholic Church

[Anne Stensvold]


Chapter 7: Emerging international subjects. The Royal 'Peel' Commission, Palestine partition and religious difference

[Maria Birnbaum]

Chapter 8: Religious voices: American faith perspectives as an example

[Katherine Marshall]

Chapter 9: Dynamic perspectives on defamation of religion among Jewish NGOs

[Gabriel Levy and Miriam Kyselo]

Chapter 10: Human rights and the Tunisian constitution

[Ragnhild J. Zorgati]

Chapter 11: Norway, religion and the United Nations

[Ingrid Vik and Cecilie Endresen]

Concluding remarks

[Anne Stensvold]

About the Editor

Anne Stensvold is Professor of History of Religions at the University of Oslo, Norway where she leads the Value Politics research group. She has written extensively on popular religion, Catholicism and political aspects of religion, and co-authored Lobbying for faith and family at the United Nations (2013). Her latest book is A history of pregnancy. From Original Sin to contemporary abortion debates. (Routlege 2015).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics

This series aims to publish high quality works on the topic of the resurgence of political forms of religion in both national and international contexts. This trend has been especially noticeable in the post-cold war era (that is, since the late 1980s). It has affected all the ‘world religions’ (including, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) in various parts of the world (such as, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa).

The series welcomes books that use a variety of approaches to the subject, drawing on scholarship from political science, international relations, security studies, and contemporary history.

Books in the series explore these religions, regions and topics both within and beyond the conventional domain of ‘church-state’ relations to include the impact of religion on politics, conflict and development, including the late Samuel Huntington’s controversial – yet influential – thesis about ‘clashing civilisations’.

In sum, the overall purpose of the book series is to provide a comprehensive survey of what is currently happening in relation to the interaction of religion and politics, both domestically and internationally, in relation to a variety of issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General