As the Cold War era becomes history, we are entering an age when international conflict is increasingly based on racial, ethnic, national, and religious clashes--the most intractable sources of conflict, and those with which conventional diplomacy is least suited to deal. The particularly American tendency to separate political from spiritual life often tends to ignore a vital aspect of international relations--one that can be a powerful tool in negotiations. Religion plays a crucial role in many international conflicts, yet for the most part, diplomacy either ignores or misunderstands its role.
This unified collection of case studies and theoretical pieces attempts to restore this missing dimension to its rightful place in the conduct of international diplomacy. Sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., this study offers the first systematic account of modern cases in which religious or spiritual factors have played a helpful role in preventing or resolving conflict and achieving non-violent socio-political change. Written by a distinguished roster of scholars, the cases presented span the globe, with examples from Europe, Central America, Asia, and Africa. Additional essays summarize the findings of these case studies to bring out their implications for foreign policy and the religious community.
In the Foreword, former President Jimmy Carter states that the book "poses a challenge to diplomats and politicians, religious figures and laypersons, analysts and academics alike." Conceived to help call attention to and reinforce the positive contribution that religious and spiritual influences can bring to peacemaking, this important study offers practical guidelines for the future application of this kind of peacemaking in existing and incipient conflict situations.
Douglas Johnston is Chief Operating Officer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Cynthia Sampson is Director of the Research, Religion and Conflict Project, also at CSIS.
"This book brings a refreshing change....Brings badly needed balance into the discussion of religion and international affairs."--Foreign Affairs
"Religion and the passion it generates are a major aspect of our humanity, hence a major force not only in the lives of individuals but in the fate of nations. As the various authors of this edifying book keep reminding us, the aphorism that we don't live by bread alone has enormous political and strategic implications."--Robert Coles, Washington Post Book World
"Religion, The Missing Dimension of Statecraft
holds lessons not only for government officials but also for religious leaders willing to take initiatives for peace. It should encourage the growth of diplomatically engaged religion as well as religiously informed diplomacy."--Peter Steinfels, The New York Times
"Eminently readable, provocative, stimulating for specialists in both foreign affairs and religion, Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft
must be read by anyone concerned about conflict resolution, and the positive role religion ca play in creating a more peaceful and just world."-Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies
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