Moral Pressure for Responsible Globalization

Religious Diplomacy in the Age of the Anthropocene


In Moral Pressure for Responsible Globalization, Sherrie M. Steiner offers an account of religious diplomacy with the G8, G7 and G20 to evoke new possibilities in an effort to influence globalization to become more equitable and sustainable. Commonly portrayed as ‘out of control’, globalization is considered here as a political process that can be redirected to avoid the tragedy of the global commons.
The secularization tradition of religion depicts faith-based public engagement as dangerous. Making use of historical materials from faith-based G-plus System shadow summits (2005-2017), Steiner provides ample information to arrive at an interpretation that significantly differs from traditional accounts. Using broader scope conditions, Steiner considers how human induced environmental changes contribute to religious resurgence under conditions of weakening nation states.

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Sherrie M. Steiner, Ph.D. (1998), Washington State University, is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Her publications on environment and religion include “Is Religious Soft Power of Consequence in the World Today?” in Jean-Guy A. Goulet (editor) Experiencing Religion in the Contemporary World, Religious Diversity Today, Volume 3:1-34 (Praeger).

"Rigorous, inclusive, and extensive, Moral Pressure for Responsible Globalization is an exemplary model of transdisciplinary scholarship that not only contributes new knowledge otherwise lost between the interstices of disciplines, but also addresses at its core the ethical imperative of globalized responsibility for the ecosystems upon which our lives depend. At a time when the era of globalization is characterized by “governance without government,” mounting uncertainties, and “wicked problems” such as the metastasizing of religiously motivated violence, Moral Pressure for Responsible Globalization is indispensable literature for religious studies scholars and political scientists alike."
- Adam Loch, University of Denver/Illif School of Theology, Reading Religion March 2018

"This impressive and well-researched book provides readers with new insights into the politics at the juncture of religion and transnational environmental policy."
- P. Sean Morris, University of Helsinki, Finland, International Affairs 95: 6, 2019.
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

1 Introduction: Religious Engagement for More Responsible Governance
 Beyond Sustainable Development as Oxymoron
 The Evolution of Religious Shadow Summitry
 Theoretical Account of the F8/F7/F20 Initiative
 Theoretical Development—Why Religion? Why Now?
 In Matters of Religion, Religion Matters

2 G-plus System Diplomacy
 The Origins and Evolution of the G-plus System
 The Rules of Governing without Government
 Broadening the Dialogue
 Engagement Group Recognition
 Monitoring of the G-plus System

3 Governance in the Age of the Anthropocene
 Primarily Human-induced Global Environmental Changes
 Environmental Implications for Governance
 ‘Transition Science’ Emerges to Inform Governance
 Governance for a Common Future
 Implications for G8/G7 and G20 Financial Deliberations
 Patterned Vulnerabilities and Anti-Globalization Protests
 Governance without Government
 The Costs of Globalized Irresponsibility

4 The Return of Religion to Transnational Relations
 Transnational Religious Resurgence
 The Crisis of Secularization
 Can Secularization be Taken Too Far?
 Reimagining the Secular with ‘Cosmopolitan Solutions’
   Religious Diplomacy

5 The F8/F7/F20 Initiative
 Origins and Evolution
   The F8
   The F7
   The F20
   The Merge
 Patterning after the G-plus System
 Distinguishing Factors
 Invitees and Organizational Representation
 Phases of Development

6 Illuminating the Unseen
 Summary Overview
 Annual Initiatives
   2005 United Kingdom—Civil Society Ecumenical Origins
   2006 Russia—An Interfaith State Affair
   2007 Germany—Consolidating the Vision
   2008 Japan—Decentering Anthropocentrism
   2009 Italy—A Natural Disaster
   2010 Canada—Engagement and Governance
   2011 France—Respecting the ‘Other’
   2012 United States—Special Delivery
   2013 United Kingdom—All a Twitter
   2014 Australia—New Beginnings
   2015 Istanbul—Consolidation
   2016 China—Entering a New Phase of Dialogue
   2017 Germany—Officially Engaged

7 Organizing Details, External Relations, and Documentation
 Organizing the Summits
   Leadership Rotation
   The Organizing Committees
   Religious Ritual
   Special Events and Excursions
   Aborted Events
 External Relations
   Heads of State
   Government Advisors
   Foreign Ministers
   Members of Parliament
   Special Advisors
   Civil Society

8 Reform, Assessment, and Impact
   Enduring Informality
   Reflexive Engagement
   Information Technology
   Influence of International Relations
   Institutional Differentiation
 Competing Assessments
   G-plus System
   Domestic Relations

9 The Golden Thread
 A New Millennium
 Global Ethic—Global Norm
 The MDG Focal Point
 F8/F7/F20 MDG Dialogue
 Transition Dynamics
 F20 SDG Dialogue
 Non-human Agency

10 Collaboration for a Responsible Future
 Religious Diplomacy in the Age of the Anthropocene
 Tikkun Olam
 Changing Times
SDG Implementation Challenges
 Governance Forecasts
 What an F20 Might Offer
 Further Research

Appendix A: Theoretical Orientation, Methodology, Documentation & Data
Appendix B: Institutional Affiliations Reference List
All interested in religion and transnational relations, religion and the environment and anyone concerned with multifaith dialogue, globalization, the tragedy of the commons and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.