Religion, Ethics, and Politics by Religion
This section explores the interaction of religion, ethics, and politics from the religious perspective. While each religion has significant diversity within its tradition, general comments can be made about how political and ethical issues interact within that tradition. As each religious tradition is unique, so the interfaith dialogues between any two traditions are also unique.
This section also offers links to the following related topics:
A Religious perspective on Religion, Ethics, and Politics
The third section of Eric O. Hanson’s Religion and Politics in the International System Today explains the religious perspectives on the relationships of religion and politics. That chapter, “A Religious Perspective on Religion and Politics,” offers a general religious approach to religion and politics based on the two following sets of categories: types of religion and religious practices relevant to politics.
Three Types of Religion: Religions of the Book (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Meditative Experience (Hinduism, Buddhism), and Public Life (Confucianism, Maoist Marxism).
Seven Religious Practices Relevant to Politics:
Religious traditions do change, but they tend to change slowly. Thus, knowledge of a tradition’s history is important for understanding its current actions. However, globalization has hurried the pace at which religious traditions have learned from each other, for example, the relative prominence of social ethics in the newly engaged Buddhism, or the use of Zen spirituality in the Christian tradition. It is also hard to imagine the recent changes in Islam, Hinduism, and Tibetan Buddhism without globalization. A discussion of “Globalization and Religious Restructuring” can be found in the Hanson book, pp. 304-07.
The CIA Factbook listed the world’s population in terms of religion according to a 2004 estimate. Such estimates produce only general numbers since it is extraordinarily difficult to ascertain exact figures for various reasons. First, some states depress the count of unwelcome religious organizations. And such organizations may not want the state to know of their existence. Second, some people identify with more than one religion, especially in non-Western Cultures. Third, the less developed the organizational aspect of the religion, the less that religion will devote resources to collecting such statistics. So the CIA figures below remain general indicators.
Christians 33.03%, of which
Other religions 12.61%
American Academy of Religion, Related Scholarly Organizations http://aarweb.org/About_AAR/Related_Organizations/default.asp
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University. http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/
Brasher, Brenda, ed. Encyclopaedia of Fundamentalism. London: Routledge, 2001.
CURA (Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs), Boston University. http://www.bu.edu/cura/
Haynes, Jeffrey. Introduction to International Relations and Religion. Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited, 2007. “Africa” (pp. 302-36) Excellent bibliographical materials throughout.
Haynes, Jeffrey, ed. The Politics of Religion: A Survey. London: Routledge, 2006
Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, Belfer Center, Harvard University. http://dev.belfercenter.org/project/57/religion_in_international_affairs.html
Kellogg Institute, University of Notre Dame. http://kellogg.nd.edu/
Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. http://kroc.nd.edu/
Selected and annotated list of websites on global religion. www.aril.org/World.html.
World Christian Database at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Ma. The Database is based on the World Christian Encyclopedia and on World Christian Trends. The data features Christianity, but also includes other major world traditions. www.gcts.edu/ockenga/globalchristianity
Center for the Study of World Religions at the Harvard Divinity School. www.hds.harvard.edu/cswr
Five sections for each Entry
The entries use the same form as the national and regional entries:
1. Brief Introduction
Apologies to those religions not yet listed. Since this website is the work of a single person, it will take time to add all traditions. In all these entries, the reader should ask herself if the treatment is fair and selects the right considerations for its length. The editor would be most happy to consider changes to his choices.
2. Excerpts from Religion and Politics in the International System (Cambridge, 2006):
To view or order Eric O. Hanson, Religion and Politics in the International System Today (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), $26.99 paperback, Click here.
3. A Short Introductory Course:
4. Other Resource Materials
5. Recent News Articles