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Religion and Internationalism Project

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by Nathaniel Berman

2011: The ‘Sacred Conspiracy’:  Religion, Nationalism, and the Crisis of Internationalism Leiden Journal of International Law 25 (2011), pp. 1-46
The goal of this article is to initiate an interdisciplinary and historical reflection on one of the central preoccupations of our time: the relationship of religion to international order. This current project grows out of my long-standing work on the genealogy of modern internationalism. In my past work, I have argued that internationalists constructed their own disciplines in tandem with their construction of nationalism, to such an extent that modern ‘internationalism’ and modern ‘nationalism’ must be understood in relation to each other; in the present essay, I contend that ‘internationalism’ and ‘religion’ have an equally mutually constitutive relationship. This article seeks to retell the story of international law over the past century through the lens of its relationship to religion – a lens that both overlaps with and differs from that of nationalism. Its historical narrative is rooted in the early twentieth century – a period to which so many of our ‘modern’ cultural conceptions may be traced. Its methodology is broadly interdisciplinary, setting changing international legal conceptions of religion in relation to contemporaneous developments in domains such as sociology, religious studies, and historiography. This is the first piece of a series of projected studies on the construction and contestation of ‘religion’, ‘the secular’, and ‘the international’ over the past century. 

2011: ‘Hysteria’: Reading the Palestinian ApplicationSh’ma:  A Journal of Jewish Responsibility 42 (November 2011), pp. 16-17 

2011: "Passion and Ambivalence:  Colonialism, Nationalism and International Law" (Brill 2011)
Ethnic, nationalist, and religious conflicts and debates about international intervention have been central global preoccupations of the past hundred years. Such debates, this volume argues, were first framed in their modern form during the interwar period, when a Modernist break (akin to that in literature, philosophy, and the arts) transformed the way such conflicts were viewed. Internationalists began to cast identity-based claims --  whether those of anti-colonialists or European separatists -- not only as mortal dangers to international order but as indispensable to its revitalization. Drawing on cultural studies, postcolonial theory, and psychoanalysis with case studies ranging from 1930s Ethiopia to 1990s Jerusalem this volume looks at both the origins and legacy of these debates, offering a radical reinterpretation of modern internationalism.

2010 : "The Emerging One-State Consensus"

2010 : "Intervention in a 'Divided World': Axes of Legitimacy"

2010 : "The Ambivalence of 'Walls' in the Internationalist Imagination: Legal Scandal or the Foundation of Legal Order?"

by Nukhet Sandal

2011: Religion and International Relations theory:  Towards a mutual understanding, European Journal of International Relations 17(1) (2011), pp. 3-25 (with Patrick  James)
Until the end of the Cold War, it is not an exaggeration to say that only a few theorists of International Relations (IR) or policy-makers engaged in either substantial investigation or articulation of the links between cultural variables like religion and ethnicity on one hand and international affairs on the other. In our article, we argue that this pattern does not do justice to the nature of mainstream IR theories. Although studies are accumulating, how (or whether) religion as a variable can be integrated into mainstream IR thinking still remains in question. We look at three main traditions in IR theory — classical realism, structural realism and neoliberalism — to see how religion can contribute to our understanding of international affairs within those frameworks. We claim that, without stretching the limits of theories or disturbing their intellectual coherence, possibilities for two-way interactions between the frameworks and identity-related variables like religion can be identified.

2011: Religious actors as epistemic communities in conflict transformation: the cases of South Africa and Northern Ireland, Review of International Studies 37 (2011), pp. 929-949  
With the increasing influence of theocrats and other religious actors on policymakers and masses, recognising the agency of the clergy is crucial. This article uses the ‘epistemic communities’ framework to place the religious ‘agents’ in contemporary politics and it shows how hermeneutics can be treated as a form of ‘episteme’. Until recently, this framework has been used to explain how scientific communities affect policymaking. Using the cases of South Africa and Northern Ireland, this article claims that religious actors, especially with their shared set of normative and principled beliefs as well as shared norms of validity, also meet the requirements of the epistemic community category. The employment of this established IR framework in theorising religious politics has the potential to shed light not only on peacebuilding and mediation, but also violent movements and terrorist organisations that use religion as justification. (Online publication March 1, 2011)

by Thomas A. Lewis

"Religion, Modernity, and Politics in Hegel."
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

"Freedom and Tradition in Hegel: Reconsidering Anthropology, Ethics, and Religion." Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005.

Chapters in books
“On the Role of Normativity in Religious Studies.”
In Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies, edited by Robert A. Orsi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

“Finite Representation, Spontaneous Thought, and the Politics of an Open-ended Consummation.” In Hegel and the Infinite: Religion, Politics and Dialectic, edited by Slavoj Žižek, Clayton Crockett, and Creston Davis, 199-219. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

“Religion and Demythologization in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.” In Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: A Critical Guide, edited by Dean Moyar and Michael Quante, 192-209. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Refereed journal articles
“Ethnography, Anthropology, and Comparative Religious Ethics, Or, Ethnography and the Comparative Religious Ethics Local.”
Journal of Religious Ethics 38:3 (2010): 395-403.

“Speaking of Habits: The Role of Language in Moving from Habit to Freedom.” Owl of Minerva 39:1-2 (2007-2008): 25-54.

“Beyond the Totalitarian: Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion in Recent Hegel Scholarship.” Religion Compass 2:4 (2008): 556-74.                                      

Non-refereed journal articles
“Hegelian Anthropology and Ethical Cultivation in the Modern World.” In “Yo y Tiempo: La antropología filosófica de Hegel,” supplement, Contrastes 15:2 (2010): 249-56.