Political science of religion

The political science of religion (also referred to as politicology of religion or politology of religion) is one of the youngest disciplines in the political sciences that deals with a study of influence that religion has on politics and vice versa with a focus on the relationship between the subjects (actors) in politics in the narrow sense: government, political parties, pressure groups, and religious communities. It was established in the last decades of the twentieth century.

Research areas

The basic research areas of the political science of religion are:

  • All aspects of religious teachings and practices that have direct political contents and messages, such as religious understanding of government, power, political authority, state, political organizing, war, peace, etc.;
  • All aspects of religious behavior and practice that don’t have direct political contents and messages but do have direct political consequences, such as building of religious edifices, pilgrimages, etc.;
  • Attitudes and positions of political subjects in the narrow sense towards religion and religious communities, such as that of political parties and pressure groups towards religion and religious communities;
  • Everything within apparently completely secular public behavior with no religious motives that causes religious consequences, such as an economic monopoly achieved by a religious group within a multi-confessional society – it cannot but cause political consequences.

These fields of research are in constant development. The newest area of research in political science of religion is on the subject of religion and international relations.

History

The political science of religion or politology of religion was established as an academic discipline in 1993 at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Belgrade, Serbia.[1] The founder of this discipline is Dr Miroljub Jevtic; http://www.fpn.bg.ac.rs/en/undergraduate-studies/political-department/third-year/ . In 2006, Georgetown University established the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs as one of the first American university research centers devoted to issues surrounding the political science of religion.

The Politics and Religion Journal was founded by the Center for Study of Religion and Religious Tolerance in Belgrade, Serbia in 2007.[2] Its spiritus movens and editor in chief is Miroljub Jevtić, professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade, Serbia. The journal Politics and Religion, produced by Cambridge Journals, published its first volume in 2008.[3]

The political science of religion is studied at almost all universities and political science departments in the United States. The American Political Science Association has a religion and politics section.[4]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2009-03-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2009-04-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Politics and Religion
  4. ^ “Religion and Politics”

References

  • Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu
  • Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative, Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.cfr.org/religion.
  • Miroljub Jevtic, Politology of Religion,Center for Study of Religion and Religious Tolerance, Belgrade,2009,ISBN 978-86-87243-01-9, COBISS.SR-ID 169417996
  • Miroljub Jevtic,Political Relations and Religion,Center for Study of Religion and Religious Tolerance, Belgrade,2011,ISBN 978-86-87243-06-4, COBISS.SR-ID 187288
  • Miroljub Jevtic,Problems of Politology of Religion,Center for Study of Religion and Religious Tolerance, Belgrade,2012,ISBN 978-86-87243-08-8
  • Miroljub Jevtic,Religion as a Political Science Research Subject,in Religion and Politics,ed. South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Faculty of Law and History, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria,2005,pp. 45–46;
  • Miroljub Jevtic,Religija i politika-Uvod u Politikologiju religije(Religion and Politics-Introduction into Politology of Religion) ed. Institut for Political Studies and Department of Political Science, Belgrad,2002,pp. 15;
  • Miroljub Jevtic,Political Science and Religion,in Politics and Religion,journal, 1/2007,Belgrade,pp. 59–69; https://web.archive.org/web/20140221223426/http://www.politicsandreligionjournal.com/images/pdf_files/engleski/volume1_no1/political_science_and_religion.pdf
  • Miroljub Jevtic,Nabozenstvo a politika:Teoreticky Pristup(Religion and Politics:Theoretical Approach)in:2007 Rocenka Ustavu pre vztahy statu a cirkvi(Institut for State-Church Relations)Bratislava,2008, Slovakia,pp. 104–105;
  • Miroljub Jevtic, Religion and Power-Essays on Politology of Religion, ed. Prizren : Dioceze of Ras-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, Belgrade : Center for study of religion and religious tolerance, 2008,ISBN 978-86-82323-29-7,COBISS.SR-ID:153597452,pp. 268–269
  • Miroljub Jevtic,Religion as a Political Science Research Subject,in Vjera i politika(The Faith and Politics)ed.Filozofsko-teoloski Institut druzbe Isusove,Zagreb,Croatia,2009,ISBN 978-953-231-076-4,pp. 121–122
  • Miroljub Jevtic, Theoretical Relationsship Between Religion and Politics, “Indian Journal of Political Science" (IJPS) Vol. LXX, no 2, April/Juin 2009, pp. 409–418, ISSN 0019-5510

Further reading

  • Pettman, Ralph (2004): Reason, Culture, Religion: The Metaphysics of World Politics, Palgrave, London and New York.
  • "Indian Controversies: Essays on Religion in Politics" by Arun Shourie, Publishers: Rupa & Co, South Asia Books, A S A Publications, Language: English

External links

Acosmism

Acosmism, in contrast to pantheism, denies the reality of the universe, seeing it as ultimately illusory (the prefix "a-" in Greek meaning negation; like "un-" in English), and only the infinite unmanifest Absolute as real. Conceptual versions of Acosmism are found in eastern and western philosophies.

Agnostic existentialism

Agnostic existentialism is a type of existentialism which makes no claim to know whether there is a "greater picture"; rather, it simply asserts that the greatest truth is that which the individual chooses to act upon. It feels that to know the greater picture, whether there is one or not, is impossible, or impossible so far, or of little value. Like the Christian existentialist, the agnostic existentialist believes existence is subjective.

Argument from free will

The argument from free will, also called the paradox of free will or theological fatalism, contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible and that any conception of God that incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory. These arguments are deeply concerned with the implications of predestination.

Argument from love

The Argument from love is an argument for the existence of God.

Argument from miracles

The argument from miracles is an argument for the existence of God that relies on the belief that events witnessed and described as miracles – i.e. as events not explicable by natural or scientific laws – indicate the intervention of the supernatural.

One example of this argument is the Christological argument: the claim that historical evidence proves that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that this can only be explained if God exists. Another is the claim that many of the Qur'an's prophecies have been fulfilled and that this too can only be explained if God (Allah) exists.

Defenders of the argument include C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton and William of Ockham.

Argument from morality

The argument from morality is an argument for the existence of God. Arguments from morality tend to be based on moral normativity or moral order. Arguments from moral normativity observe some aspect of morality and argue that God is the best or only explanation for this, concluding that God must exist. Arguments from moral order are based on the asserted need for moral order to exist in the universe. They claim that, for this moral order to exist, God must exist to support it. The argument from morality is noteworthy in that one cannot evaluate the soundness of the argument without attending to almost every important philosophical issue in meta-ethics.

German philosopher Immanuel Kant devised an argument from morality based on practical reason. Kant argued that the goal of humanity is to achieve perfect happiness and virtue (the summum bonum) and believed that an afterlife must exist in order for this to be possible, and that God must exist to provide this. In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis argued that "conscience reveals to us a moral law whose source cannot be found in the natural world, thus pointing to a supernatural Lawgiver." Lewis argued that accepting the validity of human reason as a given must include accepting the validity of practical reason, which could not be valid without reference to a higher cosmic moral order which could not exist without a God to create and/or establish it. A related argument is from conscience; John Henry Newman argued that the conscience supports the claim that objective moral truths exist because it drives people to act morally even when it is not in their own interest. Newman argued that, because the conscience suggests the existence of objective moral truths, God must exist to give authority to these truths.

Contemporary defenders of the argument from morality are Graham Ward, Alister McGrath and William Lane Craig.

Atheist's Wager

The Atheist's Wager, popularised by the philosopher Michael Martin and published in his 1990 book Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, is an atheistic response to Pascal's Wager regarding the existence of God.

One version of the Atheist's Wager suggests that since a kind and loving god would reward good deeds – and that if no gods exist, good deeds would still leave a positive legacy – one should live a good life without religion. Another formulation suggests that a god may reward honest disbelief and punish a dishonest belief in the divine.

George I. Mavrodes

George I. Mavrodes is an American philosopher who is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Michigan.

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, is a term found in English translations of the Bible that is understood differently among the Abrahamic religions. The term is also used to describe aspects of other religions and belief structures.

List of philosophies

Philosophical schools of thought and philosophical movements.

Miroljub Jevtić

Miroljub Jevtić (born 1955 in Vranje, SFR Yugoslavia) is Serbian Politologist of religion and professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade.

Nicholas Wolterstorff

Nicholas Wolterstorff (born January 21, 1932) is an American philosopher and a liturgical theologian. He is currently Noah Porter Professor Emeritus Philosophical Theology at Yale University. A prolific writer with wide-ranging philosophical and theological interests, he has written books on aesthetics, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and philosophy of education. In Faith and Rationality, Wolterstorff, Alvin Plantinga, and William Alston developed and expanded upon a view of religious epistemology that has come to be known as Reformed epistemology. He also helped to establish the journal Faith and Philosophy and the Society of Christian Philosophers.

Proof of the Truthful

The Proof of the Truthful (Arabic: برهان الصديقين‎, romanized: burhan al-siddiqin, also translated Demonstration of the Truthful or Proof of the Veracious, among others) is a formal argument for proving the existence of God introduced by the Islamic philosopher Avicenna (also known as Ibn Sina, 980–1037). Avicenna argued that there must be a "necessary existent" (Arabic: واجب الوجود‎, romanized: wajib al-wujud), an entity that cannot not exist. The argument says that the entire set of contingent things must have a cause that is not contingent because otherwise it would be included in the set. Furthermore, through a series of arguments, he derived that the necessary existent must have attributes that he identified with the God of Islam, including unity, simplicity, immateriality, intellect, power, generosity, and goodness.Historian of philosophy Peter Adamson called the argument one of the most influential medieval arguments for God's existence, and Avicenna's biggest contribution to the history of philosophy. It was enthusiastically received and repeated (sometimes with modification) by later philosophers, including generations of Muslim philosophers, Western Christian philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus, and Jewish philosophers such as Maimonides.

Critics of the argument include Averroes, who objected to its methodology, Al-Ghazali, who disagreed with its characterization of God, and modern critics who state that its piecemeal derivation of God's attributes allows people to accept parts of the argument but still reject God's existence. There is no consensus among modern scholars on the classification of the argument; some say that it is ontological while others say it is cosmological.

Religious rejection of politics

For the general topic, see Political science of religionReligious rejection of politics is a philosophy that can be found in several religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Followers of this philosophy may withdraw from politics for several reasons, including the view that politics is artificial, divisionary, or corrupt.

Several religious groups reject any involvement in politics. Many Taoists have rejected political involvement on the grounds that it is insincere or artificial and a life of contemplation in nature is preferable, while some ascetic schools of Hinduism or Buddhism also reject political involvement for similar reasons.

In Christianity, some groups like Jehovah's Witnesses, the Amish, the Hutterites, and the Exclusive Brethren reject politics on the grounds that they believe Christ's statements about the kingdom not being of the world mean that earthly politics can or should be rejected. Not necessarily all forms of politics are rejected. For example, among the Old Order Amish running for office is not allowed but voting is only discouraged, not forbidden.Others, like the Baha'is, do not take part in partisan politics. They neither endorse particular candidates, or join political parties. They are told to vote their consciences as individuals. If asked to register they tend to do so as independent.In other religious systems it can relate to a rejection of nationalism or even the concept of nations. In certain schools of Islamic thinking, nations are a creation of Western imperialism and ultimately all Muslims should be united religiously in the ummah. Therefore, Muslims should be in hijra as nations, in the Western sense, are basically deemed apostate.There are some aspects of the early days of the radical Takfir wal-Hijra that hint at this. Likewise various Christian denominations reject any involvement in national issues considering it to be a kind of idolatry called statolatry. Most Christians who rejected the idea of nations have associated with the Christian Left. Satmar Hasidic Judaism rejects the state of Israel being created before the return of the Messiah, therefore members of this group refuse to vote in Israel. This group does not reject all politics, but it does reject participation in Israeli politics.Lastly, some religions do not specifically reject politics per se, but believe existing political systems are so inherently corrupt they must be ignored. In some respects the view of governments as apostate relates to that. In the early stages of the Nation of Islam, for example, many adherents rejected the idea of voting because the US political system was rejected in strong terms. In recent decades, however, this view has declined in popularity among Nation of Islam adherents or been rejected outright.In the United States, a recent survey indicated that 2% of those who did not register to vote cited religious reasons. The same survey reported that 22% of Americans are not registered to vote.

Religious skepticism

Religious skepticism is a type of skepticism relating to religion. Religious skeptics question religious authority and are not necessarily anti-religious but skeptical of specific or all religious beliefs and/or practices. Socrates was one of the most prominent and first religious skeptics of whom there are records; he questioned the legitimacy of the beliefs of his time in the existence of the Greek gods. Religious skepticism is not the same as atheism or agnosticism and some religious skeptics are deists.

Robert Merrihew Adams

Robert Merrihew Adams (born 1937) is an American analytic philosopher of metaphysics, religion, and morality.

Symphonia (theology)

Symphonia (Greek: συμφωνία "accord") is a normative theory or concept in Orthodox Christian theological and political thought, especially within the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, which posits that church and state are to complement each other, exhibiting mutual respect with neither institution presuming to dominate the other.

Theism

Theism is broadly defined as the belief in the existence of the Supreme Being or deities. In common parlance, or when contrasted with deism, the term often describes the classical conception of God that is found in monotheism (also referred to as classical theism) – or gods found in polytheistic religions—a belief in God or in gods without the rejection of revelation as is characteristic of deism.Atheism is commonly understood as rejection of theism in the broadest sense of theism, i.e. the rejection of belief in God or gods. The claim that the existence of any deity is unknown or unknowable is agnosticism.

Theological noncognitivism

Theological noncognitivism is the position that religious language – specifically, words such as "God" – are not cognitively meaningful. It is sometimes considered synonymous with ignosticism.

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