Volume 27, 2011
Modernization in Times of Globalization II
Religion, International Relations and Transdisciplinarity
Recently there has been an upsurge in interest concerning the relationship between religion and international relations. Much of this has been expressed as if the relationship between these was entirely new. In contrast, this paper involves the argument that it is not so much a question of religion returning but rather why it is that students of international relations have neglected the connection since the Peace of Westphalia. This neglect has largely occurred because of the primacy given to changes and events in the West, particularly since the formal separation of church and state and its imposition on or emulation by Eastern societies. The recent concern with globalization has provided the opportunity to undertake historical discussion in new perspectives which overcome the Western “normality” of the absence of religion in the Realpolitik perspective. Moreover, it is argued that much of the neglect of religion in work on world affairs has largely been the product of the inaccurate and ideologically motivated perception of ongoing secularization. The overall discussion is framed by some objections to the limiting consequences of disciplinarity, particularly the way in which both IR and sociology were rhetorically constituted.