The most celebrated “return” of religion on the international scene has been considered by analysts, scholars, and diplomats mainly as a confirmation on a wider scale of the hypothesis of a “post-secular” era. What is missing, however, is a reflection on the present-day functioning of religions in connection with the systemic analysis of international relations in a phase of global transformation. If world religions are to be taken seriously in the field of international relations, this would require an approach to their role in the international system as a structural element rather than a mere cultural phenomenon with only a derivative or secondary influence on world order. In particular, it will be useful to make a clear conceptual distinction between the two diverging paradigms of “globalization” and “universalism,” as embodied in an explicit or implicit way in many world religions today; and to investigate if and how religions could contribute to the formation of a global collective identity, both symbolic and pluralistic.
"Globalization and Post-Secularism: Religions and a Universal Common Identity,"
Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture:
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/claritas/vol1/iss1/7