The World Bank and Faith Institutions
Chapter 2: Modelling Religion in International Relations
[I]f the secularization thesis seems increasingly implausible to some of us this is not simply because religion is now playing a vibrant part in the modern world of nations. In a sense what many would anachronistically call ‘religion’ was always involved in the world of power. Talal Asad (2003a, p. 200) This chapter constructs an integrated analytical model of religion in IR. I begin by identifying conceptual approaches that bind the secular and sacral spheres together, thereby turning the multiple discourses of religion into constituent elements of a new structure of IR. This structure is used as a basis for building what I have called the dynamics of religion model. The model enables us to pose a new question for religion research in IR and to construct a new model for differentiating religion in IR contexts. Each aspect is explained in anticipation of the applications of the model that occur in subsequent chapters. 2.1 CONSTRUCTING THE RELIGIOUS STRUCTURE OF IR An important compendium edited by Bhargava titled Secularism and Its Critics (1998) opens with several essays written under a banner of ‘The Secular Imperative’ (Bhargava, 1998a, pp. 29ff.). Implicit in such a phrase is the view that secularism is not only useful, it is also very important. My discussion to date maintains the importance of secularism (over secularization) but unites the secular imperative with another perspective that I have called sacral. Hence, the imperative ground has shifted toward the importance of integrating secular and sacral impulses so as to...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.