Believe it or not : the new face of religion in international affairs : a case study of Sant'Egidio
Title: Believe it or not : the new face of religion in international affairs : a case study of Sant'Egidio
Author: HOLMSEN, Jenny
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2018
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
In this dissertation I seek to contribute to our understanding of the recasting of religion in the global order. I approach this by conducting a case study of a prominent practitioner of religious diplomacy: the Italian Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio. I suggest that faith-based mediation is an important arena in which the meaning and role of religion in international politics and diplomacy is (re)negotiated, and seek to develop our understanding of two lacunae in the academic research on faith-based mediation: the operational dynamics of faithbased mediation and its links and contact points with international politics. With a view to developing a comprehensive and contextualized study of the Sant’Egidio community, I draw upon practice theory and mediation theory and propose a three-layered research design focusing on: the internal religious practices of the community; its conflict mediation practices; and, finally, its role and impact as a global entrepreneur of religion and politics. I show that faith-based mediation - when performed by a transnational, professionalized religious network such as Sant’Egidio - is likely to take on some distinctive characteristics that do not necessarily resonate with the findings established in the academic literature on faith-based mediation and religious peacemaking. I further argue that the Sant’Egidio community - through its status and role as a leading practitioner of religious diplomacy -is entrenched in a broader transformative process affecting both dominant ways of “thinking” religion in the current global order as well as traditional modes of conducting international diplomacy and politics.
Defence date: 11 December 2018; Examining Board: Professor Olivier Roy, European University Institute (Supervisor) ; Professor Marc Gopin, George Mason University ; Dr Ole Jacob Sending, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs ; Professor Jennifer Welsh, European University Institute.
Type of Access: embargoedAccess