Philosophy, Religion and Public Policy
A two-day conference at the University of Chester as part of the AHRC Philosophy and Religious
Practices Research Network
8th-9th April 2014
( Sessions # 3 – Rethinking Philosophy of Religion)
Philosophy, Religion and Politics:
Contributions and Perspectives of Politology of Religion
Ph.D. University of Trieste
Philosophy has always been connected with the two main spheres of human action: religion and
politics, which themselves has their roots in the history of mankind. This significant relation
between philosophy, religion and political power has evolved in various ways over the centuries
and nowadays it occurs with an high complexity.
In the field of research about religion and political power, there is a strong tradition of European
studies and in recent years the academic reflection had a big increase; at the same time, the
scientific thinking is dismembered between different disciplines, such as political science, political
philosophy, philosophy of history, sociology of religion, etc.
In this paper I wish to present, among others, a particular contribution which gave an accurate
address to these studies, thanks to an interdisciplinary perspective that unites many different
approaches. I refer to a successful attempt done in the early '90s, when two distinct schools laid
the theoretical foundations of a new discipline: political science of religion, also called politology
of religion or politicology of religion.
In Eastern Europe, Miroljub Jevtic founded the Center for Study of Religion and Religious
Tolerance at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 1993. In Germany, Claus E. Bärsch, (disciple of
Eric Voegelin) gathered a group of scholars and researchers at Duisburg University, creating in
1996 the Institut für Religionspolitologie. Interesting contributions from this school were collected
in 2005 in a volume programmatically entitled Wer Religion verkennt, erkennt Politik nicht: “Who
disregards religion does not know politics”.
Here will be discuss the differences between these two schools, their perspectives and
contributions and their relation with philosophy of religion.