Religion and Global Citizenship International Workshop - London
We live in a time when forces of globalization are in tension with various nationalistic movements and sentiments around the world. The tension is reflected in domestic contexts and debates on a host of issues—trade, immigration, terrorism, and war. Recent political rhetoric and elections, in North America and Europe especially, epitomize the conflict between global and nationalist outlooks. In such a moment, it is urgent to raise questions about moral responsibilities beyond national borders as well as within them. Religion—as a force that can challenge or reinforce the nation-state and that can underscore or undercut moral duties—remains an often under-studied phenomenon within the landscape of “global citizenship” and related issues. This workshop will explore how globalization is changing the nature, scope and moral responsibilities of citizenship, with attention to the role religion plays facilitating or impeding moral aspirations and civic actions on a global scale.
- What is the nature and extent of citizens’ moral responsibility with respect to others beyond national borders? What religious and cultural resources exist for an expanded or diminished sense of responsibility to “the other”? How do national citizenship and religion interface to shape identity and responsibility—locally, nationally, globally? To what extent does the idea of “global citizenship” depend upon secular and/or religious orientations and commitments?
- What moral duties, if any, do states, governmental organizations, and citizens have to respond to various crises by drawing upon resources of government? Do states with greater power and resources bear greater responsibility? Does this include: the responsibility to open one’s borders to refugees? The responsibility to protect victims of gross human rights abuses, including through use of force? The responsibility to intervene militarily for other reasons? What are the limits and dangers of envisioning moral responsibility in this fashion?
- What other global problems—such as extreme poverty, climate change, human trafficking, democratic reform movements, violent extremism, failed states—are illuminated by the language of “global citizenship” or the individuals, institutions, and movements to which such labels may apply? Given the term’s range of meanings, what are the perils of global citizenship and its prospect for success?
The workshop is part of a three-year project on Religion and Global Citizenship, undertaken by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University and funded by the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.