How Religious Are "Religious" Conflicts?

Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, Reyko Huang, Kanchan Chandra, Evgeny Finkel, Richard A. Nielsen, Mara Redlich Revkin, Manuel Vogt, Elisabeth Jean Wood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Despite significant advances in our understanding of the politics of religious ideology and identity across time and space, scholars disagree on how to conceptualize "religious"conflicts and "religious"actors, and how to infer religious motivations from actors' behavior. This Forum brings together scholars with diverse research agendas to weigh in on conceptual, methodological, and ethical questions surrounding the study of contemporary religious conflicts. We ask: How do we know when individuals and groups are acting on religious, as opposed to other, motivations? To what extent can analysts rely on actors' own claims about their motivations? How does the "secular bias"affect scholarly research on religion and conflict? Is there a bias over which conflicts and actors come to be labeled and coded as "religious"by scholars, policymakers, and the media? The Forum fosters a debate aimed at identifying gaps within and between academic research and policy as well as media analyses on religion and political violence. The contributors examine contradictory conclusions by academics and policy analysts rooted in diverging assumptions and arguments about "religious"actors, "religious"motivations, and "religious"conflicts. The Forum proposes some ways for scholars to overcome these challenges as well as offers implications for policymakers and journalists who shape the public discourse.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numberviad029
    JournalInternational Studies Review
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2023


    • Violence politique
    • armed conflict
    • conflicto armado
    • identity politics
    • ideologie
    • ideology
    • ideología
    • la violencia política
    • political violence
    • politique identitaire
    • política de identidad
    • religion
    • religion
    • religión
    • un conflit arme

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Political Science and International Relations


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