Archive (Page 2 of 6)

Religion and World Politics part 16
Confucius and the Hierarchical State

At the time when he lived in 500 BC, [Confucius] was the epit­o­me of good gov­er­nance. He was the epit­o­me of pro­gres­sive ways towards a peace­ful and just order. And he pio­neered many things that we would regard today still as extreme­ly impor­tant.

Religion and World Politics part 15
Fundamental Buddhism

It seems a very strange thing to label Buddhism as some­thing fun­da­men­tal­ist. As if by being fun­da­men­tal­ist it might also be accused of caus­ing the same kind of car­nage and dif­fi­cul­ty that we asso­ciate with fun­da­men­tal Islam. And yet the very gen­tle reli­gion, the reli­gion of peace, the reli­gion of com­pas­sion, is also a reli­gion which is just as capa­ble as oth­er reli­gions of caus­ing car­nage, of caus­ing atroc­i­ty, and caus­ing great loss of life.

Religion and World Politics part 14
The Hindu State

Is there actu­al­ly any such thing as a Hindu state? Mr. Modi, the Prime Minister of India is the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the BJP, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which stands for Hindu val­ues. Hindu val­ues as foun­da­tion val­ues for the Indian state. And yet it’s very dif­fi­cult to talk about such foun­da­tion val­ues for an Indian state as if it had exist­ed since time immemo­r­i­al.

Religion and World Politics part 13
Turkey and Gülen: The Priest and the Pasha

A num­ber of Islamic states had rev­o­lu­tions that turned them in a par­tic­u­lar post‐war direc­tion. And in this post‐war direc­tion the empha­sis was on two key things. The first was mod­ern devel­op­ment. In this sense it meant catch­ing up with the met­ro­pol­i­tan Western world. And the sec­ond dri­ving force behind all of this was the assump­tion that this would be best done by insti­tut­ing sec­u­lar states.

Religion and World Politics part 12
Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab

Is the much‐vaunted issue of reli­gion only one of many fac­tors in play in these seem­ing­ly unstop­pable and seem­ing­ly atro­cious and unend­ing con­flicts in dif­fer­ent parts of Africa?

Religion and World Politics part 11
Urban Polities and Wide Open Spaces

When we look at con­tem­po­rary inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics, we often look back to the sec­ond Gulf War, the war against Saddam Hussein and his much rumored, much vaunt­ed, but nonex­is­tent weapons of mass destruc­tion as the begin­ning of an adven­ture full of hubris and con­tain­ing a neme­sis that’s come back to haunt us.

Religion and World Politics part 10
The Liberation of Theology

From the 1960s onwards, there was a new phe­nom­e­non, or at least it was noticed as new at that point in time, which has been called lib­er­a­tion the­ol­o­gy.” It began in Latin America. It began with Catholic priests want­i­ng to take a stand against injus­tice and cor­rup­tion, and par­tic­u­lar­ly on behalf of the poor­est cit­i­zens in Latin American coun­tries.

Religion and World Politics part 9
Ecumenicalism and Trauma

The famous Dutch the­olo­gian Hans Küng once con­vened a par­lia­ment of the world’s reli­gions to come up with a com­mon eth­ic, think­ing that a com­mon eth­ic was pos­si­ble amongst all of the dif­fer­ent con­fes­sion­al enti­ties of the world. And indeed they man­aged to achieve a com­mon eth­ic. But when it came to sign­ing off the doc­u­ment that they had labo­ri­ous­ly com­posed, there were all kinds of prob­lems.

Religion and World Politics part 7
ISIS and the 4th Principle

In the hey­day of Islamic thought, of Islamic phi­los­o­phy, of dis­qui­si­tions about the mean­ing of Islam and its place in the world of knowl­edge, in the 13th cen­tu­ry, the thought of great Islamic thinkers also was that God and his text con­sti­tut­ed a first prin­ci­ple. All else was con­tin­gent upon this first prin­ci­ple. Second, third, prin­ci­ples, etc. were con­tin­gent.

Religion and World Politics part 8
The Spectacle of Christian Fundamentalism

One of the key dif­fer­ences between Islamic scrip­ture and Christian scrip­ture is that Islamic scrip­ture (the Koran) was meant to have been revealed to the prophet Muhammad dur­ing his adult life­time. It was not meant to have been revealed to a num­ber of peo­ple over many thou­sands of years.