Religion and the Emerging World Order: Toward Reconciliation Between the God Pole and the World Pole
It is possible to view global history in terms of a balance of power between the God Pole and the World Pole, or between the secular and sacral. For the past five hundred years, since the treaties at Westphalia, the World Pole has been dominant. Over the past three decades, however, religion has reemerged as a social and political reality everywhere in the contemporary world, signalling perhaps a shift in the balance of power toward the God Pole. The proposed project seeks to answer the questions "What is the nature of the shift from the World Pole to the God Pole?", "Why is the shift occurring at this point in time?", "What are the implications of this transformation?", and "How do we reconcile these two apparent opposites for the benefit of humanity?" The two presentations in this project employ the concept of encounter between the sacred and the secular to address the nature and extent of these changes, to assess their significance, and to chart potential and effective responses both intellectual and cultural. These two presentations represent a dialog and complement to one another, not a separation and dissection. The secular and the sacral, represented best by reason and faith, offer the possibility of both emancipation and oppression. However, brought together, each may revitalize the other in such a way as to bring forth the liberating and emancipatory ideals of both and to bring about a "more humane global governance". As Harold J. Berman suggests in "The Interaction of Law and Religion", the dualistic thinking of "either-or" must give way to "both-and".
Keywords: Balance of Power, God Pole and World Pole, Sacral and Secular, Dualism and Reconciliation, Dualism to Synthesis, God Pole vs. World Pole, Emancipatory Role of Religion, Universal Church vs. Universal State
Dr. Samir N. Saliba
Professor of Political Science, Geraldine A. Meyung-Dr Clyde Alley Chair in International Studies, Center for International Studies, Emory & Henry College
Dr. Robert Chamberlain
Documentation Specialist, Documentation, TEDS, Inc.