Written by Victoria Dittmar
Religion has again gained plitical attention since the end of last nentury and the beginning of the present one (Petito and Hatzopoulos, 2003). A so-called ‘resurgence’ of religion is being discussed in the recent academic literature based on the appearance that a growing number of global issues are somehow influenced by religious elements, such as religiously inspired terrorism, inter-religious conflicts or the role of religious leaders in international affairs. This has called for an inclusion of religion in the study of international relations (Cochran Bech and Snyder, 2011). It is debatable whether religion has actually ‘resurged’ or not, but many scholars who assume it did, argue that a possible reason is the failure of secularism and the search for cultural authenticity (Thomas, 2003). Policy makers around the world are now increasingly taking the role of religion into account while dealing with issues like conflict, international development, peacebuilding and foreign policy (see Appleby et al., 2010; DFID, 2012).