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God and Global Order

The Power of Religion in American Foreign Policy

Jonathan Chaplin with Robert Joustra, Editors

Publication Year: 2010

Even though America was founded upon a belief that its mission was providentially ordained, its foreign policy decisions have failed to recognize the growing significance of religious faith as a global concern. With an eye on the turbulent century ahead, God and Global Order implores policy makers to recognize the power of faith to inform and enhance U.S. foreign policy. The contributors warn that ignoring the far-reaching role of faiths (those both religious and secular) and their influence upon international agendas could carry disastrous consequences—both for the U.S. and for the larger global order.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Title and Copyright Pages

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pp. v-vi

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This volume emerged initially from a consultation in 2006 organized by the “USA with the World” project of the Center for Christian Studies (Gordon College, Mass.), under the direction of Harold Heie and sponsored by the Lilly Endowment. Several chapters of this book began their life as...

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Introduction: Naming Religion Truthfully

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pp. 1-22

This book argues that American foreign policy must more fully acknowledge the power of religious faith in international relations if it is to be credible and effective in the turbulent century that lies ahead. The book shows how a proper reckoning with the presence and power of faith...

Part I: Taking Religion Seriously

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1. Reviving Religion in the History of American Foreign Relations

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pp. 25-44

With the eruption of global hostilities between two universalistic, mutually exclusive ideologies, the president of the United States sought to rally Americans, and people around the world, to the cause of spreading freedom and democracy. What was most striking about his rhetoric was its...

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2. Bringing Religion into International Religious Freedom Policy

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pp. 45-70

This chapter proposes a comprehensive rethinking of U.S. policy on international religious freedom (IRF). It argues that American policymakers should, as Scott Thomas puts it, “promote religious freedom as if the truthfulness of people’s religious convictions mattered.”1 ...

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3. Understanding Radical Islam

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pp. 71-86

After 9/11 it became painfully clear that U.S. intelligence and the Department of State had little religious literacy with which to read these terrible events. There were few senior Muslim officials in American embassies overseas or in the Department of State.1 ...

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4. Three Zionisms in the Shaping of American Foreign Policy

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pp. 87-109

A materialist disdain toward religion has been unconsciously at work in the minds of many of the theorists and practitioners of American foreign policy and international relations. The precipitous collapse of the Soviet Union abruptly called attention, and not for the last time, to the abiding...

Part II: Enlisting Religion Diplomatically

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5. American Religion and European Anti-Americanism

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pp. 113-126

The previous two chapters have illustrated from different vantage points the extent to which American foreign policymaking has historically been conditioned by the religiously formed perspectives, held tacitly or explicitly, of its leading practitioners and of the diverse but...

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6. Getting Russia Right

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pp. 127-144

Ten years. Ten months. Ten weeks. Ten days. The years 1989, 1990, and 1991 witnessed the culmination of an incredible acceleration of revolutionary events in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. What took ten years in Poland, ten months in Czechoslovakia, and ten weeks in...

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7. The Ethics of Humanitarian Intervention: Rethinking the Implications of Neighbor Love

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pp. 145-169

In an important essay that appeared in the aftermath of the Rwandan tragedy, James Turner Johnson rightly noted that the end of the Cold War found policymakers poorly prepared to deal with geopolitical crises that have since arisen, not to mention that it exposed an utter lack of...

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8. Why U.S. Foreign Policy in Iraq Needs an Ethic of Political Reconciliation and How Religion Can Supply It

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pp. 171-186

Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. foreign policy has encountered its thorniest troubles in its efforts to build peace in societies sundered by conflict. The problem has proved far more difficult than military victory itself. The Clinton administration’s worst foreign policy disaster— in...

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9. Response: Reading Religion Rightly—The "Clash of Rival Apostasies" amidst the Global Resurgence of Religion

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pp. 187-203

Religion has certainly returned to the study of international relations and foreign policy, and this book confirms why, after long neglect, it needed to. The expanding influence of religion in international affairs was already being recognized before September 11, 2001. ...

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pp. 205-214

To conclude this volume, we first present some interpretive reflections on recurring themes in the foregoing chapters and then ask to what extent this book has clarified the possibilities and limits of the program of developing a “Christian perspective on International Relations.” ...


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pp. 215-263


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pp. 265-290

About the Contributors

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pp. 291-294

Index [Includes Back Cover]

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pp. 295-306

E-ISBN-13: 9781602584839
E-ISBN-10: 1602584834
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602582507
Print-ISBN-10: 1602582505

Page Count: 310
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1