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Book Reviews: Relationship Between Religion and Politics, Diplomacy

Religion is becoming more and more important on the international political scene. Many international conflicts have religious roots and religion is driving both hatred and violence. Can religion be used as a tool to foster peace? Can religion play a role in international relations and diplomacy?

God's Rule: The Politics of World Religions
Many people may feel that religion and politics do not or should not mix, but the reality of the situation is that they usually do become mixed: religion influences politics while politics in turn influences religion. If the two cannot be wholly disentangled, the question becomes just what sort of relationship they do have and how that relationship can be prevented from becoming dangerous.

The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics
Many in the West have assumed that the influence and power of religion in society would fade more and more until it disappeared entirely - maybe not from people's personal lives, but certainly from political considerations. While that has occurred to a degree in Western nations, it hasn't occurred elsewhere - and that has a profound influence on...

Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik
Religion is a powerful factor in conflicts around the world. Sometimes it is a cause for conflict, sometimes it helps sustain conflict, and other times it is used as a pretext for conflicts that have deeper roots in other issues. Considering just how much of a role religion plays here, is it at all reasonable to think that we can find solutions and resolutions that don't involve religion?

The Global Face of Public Faith: Politics, Human Rights
What role should religion play, if any, in either domestic American politics or in the field of international relations? This is a difficult issue. Some believe that whatever benefits religion might confer privately, when directed towards public aims it is ultimately divisive and/or destructive. Others argue, however, that religion is a vital force for public morality and ethical action.

God's Law or Man's Law: The Fundamentalist Challenge to Secular Rule
The laws in most liberal, democratic nations are human laws - that is to say, they are self-consciously human creations for human needs in a human society. There was a time when laws were treated as having divine origins and there are people today who would like to change society into something once again regulated by God's laws - or, at least,...

Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power
Politically speaking, what is the attraction of Islam to leaders and activists in the Middle East? This is not a question about why people are or become Muslims, because it is not a question about the religious attraction of Islam. Instead, it is about why Islam is politically attractive, and why a State would adopt Islam as a basis for public policy.

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