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Conceptualizing Religion in International Relations: A Neo-Weberian Approach

The Center for International Studies (CSI) and the Department of Political Science at FSPAC have the pleasure to invite you on Monday, May 29th, 2017, at 3 pm, in room II/4 (FSPAC building on Traian Mosoiu street, 71) to attend the lecture

Conceptualizing Religion in International Relations: A Neo-Weberian Approach

Delivered by Cecelia Lynch, University of California Irvine

Chair: Bogdan Radu, FSPAC and CSI

Professor Lynch is a US scholar of international relations and comparative politics, known particularly for her ground-breaking work on religion and ethics in international affairs. Co-editor of the leading blog Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa and co-author (with Audie Klotz) of the first book on the constructivist approach in international relations to analyze substantive issues, methodology and research design. Recipient of numerous research grants and awards, including recently the J. Ann Tickner Award of the International Studies Association (ISA) for pushing boundaries in international studies.

Lecture abstract

In contrast to both primordial and instrumental approaches to religion, neo-Weberianism (Lynch 2009; 2014) focuses on religion-as-practice (rather than as doctrine). Neo-Weberianiasm also moves beyond Weber to emphasize religious actors’ ongoing ethical interpretation of both their religious traditions and their socio-political contexts. I articulate in this talk essential concepts that comprise this approach (living tradition, common good, and popular casuistry), contrast it with other approaches to religion in international politics, and provide several historical and contemporary examples of how it can be employed in research on religion today.