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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter on religion and international security begins by arguing that religion was largely absent from International Relations (IR) theory since its modern founding in early modern Europe, mirroring its lack of influence on actual IR during the same period. Over the past four decades, though, religion has resurged in its global political influence, while, over the past decade-and-a-half, a literature on religion and IR has appeared and developed. The chapter then looks at this literature, particularly at scholarship that argues for and against religion’s inherently violent nature; that sees religion as a force for both peace and violence; that describes and tracks trends in religious war and religious terrorism; that argues for and against Islam’s proneness to violence; and that seeks to theorize the varying political stances of religious actors. The chapter closes with an analysis of a normative debate on religious freedom.

Keywords: religion and international security, religion and war, religion and terrorism, religion and civil war, religious civil wars, religious freedom, secular, secularization, secularism

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