Helge ÅrsheimFrom: The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations
Edited By: Jacob Katz Cogan, Ian Hurd, Ian Johnstone
This chapter focuses on the increasing importance of religion to international organizations (IOs) over the course of the last decade. The first part gives an overview of how and why religion(s) and IOs relate and interact. It discusses the definitional ambiguity of what constitutes ‘religious’ IOs and examines some proposals to clarify the issue, before mapping some important and influential religious IOs. The second part of the chapter presents the interrelationship of secular IOs with religion, emphasizing the influential role the handling of religion at the different levels of the United Nations (UN) plays in international approaches to religion in general. It then presents some other important secular IOs and their interaction with religion, before providing a brief summary of the argument and a conclusion.