By Gregorio Bettiza, Deina Abdelkader, David T Buckley, Jocelyne Cesari, Jeffrey Haynes, Nukhet Sandal and Giorgio Shani
The study of religion and international religions has witnessed an exponential growth in recent decades. Courses and programs exploring the complex entanglements between faith and global politics have likewise mushroomed around the world. Despite this ferment, reflections on teaching religion and international relations have so far lagged behind. This forum seeks to remedy this general silence. It brings together a diverse range of scholars from a multiplicity of national, religious, methodological, and theoretical backgrounds who teach across a variety of different geographical settings including North America, Europe, and East Asia. Contributors reflect on three broad themes. First, how do we engage with the contested character of religion as a category of analysis and practice, and with the multidisciplinary nature of its study? Second, how does the context within which we operate—be it geographical, cultural, institutional, or historical—influence and shape who, what, and how we teach? Third, how do we address the important and, at times, contentious personal and ethical challenges that our research and teaching on religion and politics inevitably raises in the classroom?