Prior to the Westphalian order of world politics, religion and politics were not treated as separate mutual bodies. No single power existed as a “non-religious” entity, but today the non-secular is more often glossed over in discussions of world politics. Yet, we hear more on the resurgence of religion in world affairs. While religion is a constructed category, its meaning is not a neutral one. What is not ‘religion’ is theoretically conceived when pitted against the modern (archaic), rational (irrational), secular (religious), disenchanted (enchanted), bureaucratic (simple) and enlightened (benighted). Its contours were further defined during the Renaissance period of European self-discovery that embodies the triumph of the human conscience of reason over the authority of religion, which led to the culmination of the nation-state as a secular political alternative of being and becoming in the world. This presentation attempts to ask about the attention or lack of attention to religion in global affairs. It asks the following question: is religion present or absent in world politics?
Ali Al Youha is doctoral student in Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR). His research explores the evolution of political sovereignty in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Ali holds a Master in Theological Studies with a specialization in religion and politics from Harvard University. He also holds a Master of Science in Global Governance & Diplomacy from Oxford University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Boston College.