By Javad Heirannia

We don’t necessarily need “religious” theory of IR: Dallmayr

December 31, 2018

TEHRAN - Fred Reinhard Dallmayr, Emeritus Professor of University of Notre Dame (USA) says hence modernity is not necessarily anti-religious, and the same is true of IR.

He says that “We do not necessarily need a “religious” theory of IR.”

Former president of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy also adds that “We just need a more intelligent and more theoretical theory of IR, one which takes into account more elements.”

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: When the religious issues did has been a matter of great in Theorizing of International Relations?

A: Religious issues were deeply involved in IR in the West during the Reformation. The basic principle of the Peace of 1648 was "Who controls the state, controls religion."

Q: Some argue that if the theory of International Relations means a constitutive and critical theory, then bringing religion into International Relations is possible, but if the theory of International Relations is an explanatory-empirical theory, the theorizing religion in International Relations is not possible and, in fact, there is not theological positivism theory in International Relations. What is your opinion?

A: If IR is purely empirical, then to become relevant religion also has to be treated empirically.  So genuine religion can only enter IR, if IR is treated broadly, that is, theoretically and spiritually.

Q: Some scholars such as “Michael Allen Gillespie” in the book “The Theological Origins of Modernity” believe that modernity was not initially against religion, and in later years, as a result of social, cultural and political conditions, it has led to secularism. So Based on this conception, religion does not conflict with modernity, so can it be said that religion does not conflict with the International Relations theory stemming from modernity?

A: Gillespie is correct; modernity at the start was not anti-religious (witness the Reformation). Hence modernity is not necessarily anti-religious, and the same is true of IR.

Q: Some argue that the current International Relations theory cannot explain some of the current phenomena of international relations and we need a religious theory of International Relations, especially with regard to religious issues. What is your opinion? In general, theorizing Religion in International Relations is feasible?

A: We do not necessarily need a “religious” theory of IR. We just need a more intelligent and more theoretical theory of IR, one which takes into account more elements.

Q: If theorizing Religion in International Relations is possible, can this religious theory in International Relations explain all the unresolved issues and problems?

A: Religion cannot explain everything, but something.  There is also economics, sociology, history and human “nature”.

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