Religion and Religious Intervention

Antje von Ungern-Sternberg

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599752
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Religion and Religious Intervention


This chapter discusses the secularization of international law; international relations between actors of different faiths; religion and war; and international protection of religion. It notes that the history of religion and public international law is a history of secularization and of a development from an internal towards a neutral perspective which treats all religions on an equal footing. In the process of secularization, religion is abandoned as a source, and as a foundation of law, it becomes irrelevant as a factor characterizing international actors who engage in interreligious relations, and no longer serves as a reason for justifying war in the guise of the fight against heretics, the defence of Christianity against Muslim attacks, or the enforceable right to mission. Moreover, the Christian bias of international law is replaced by the equal attribution (or non-attribution) of these entitlements.

Keywords: war and religion; secularization; public international law; Christianity; Muslim; interreligious relations

Article.  11706 words. 

Subjects: Law ; History of Law ; International Law

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