Towards an international political theology

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46 Scopus citations


An increasing visibility of religion on all levels of social activity including IR calls into question the stubbornness of Western social sciences unwilling (and unable) to treat religions as important social factors on their own terms, on par with secular discourses. To correct this situation this article uses Nicholas Onuf's post-positivist rule-oriented constructivist ontological framework as a foundation of 'International Political Theology' (IPT). IPT is another extension of IR, just as IPE once was. IPT refers to the systematic study of discourses and relations amongst them concerning world affairs that search for - or claim to have found - a response, transcendental or secular, to the human need for meaning. Central to the argument is Charles Pierce's concept of abductive reasoning, not inferior, in fact much more widespread worldwide than the modern understanding of what does or does not constitute 'rational' or a form of a judgment. The article shows how IPT can relate religious and secular discourses, so far regarded as 'incommensurable'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-704
Number of pages30
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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