Daniel Philpott

Daniel Philpott is Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he is affiliated with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He is the author of Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations (Princeton 2001); God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (Norton, 2011) (with Monica Duffy Toft and Timothy Samuel Shah); and, most recently, Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation (Oxford, 2012). He has also worked for reconciliation in Kashmir and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Philpott is also the author of a SSRC working paper on “Religion, Reconciliation, and Transitional Justice.” Read Nathan Schneider's interview with Daniel Philpott here.

Posts by Daniel Philpott:

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power

TheExporting Freedom United States is unique among nations in claiming a heritage of religious freedom and a mission to spread it overseas.  This is difficult to dispute.  What has become hotly disputed is how this is to be regarded.

An “orthodox” view holds that the United States has played a special role—a providential part, as some would have it—in carrying a universal message of religious freedom to the world.  First, American colonies were havens for religious refugees; then the American founding was a milestone for constitutional norms of religious freedom; then, over the subsequent two centuries, the United States became a haven for religious people unwelcome elsewhere: Baptists, Mormons, Mennonites, Muslims, Amish, Catholics, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others.

Read the rest of Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power.
Friday, March 1st, 2013

Reconciliation in the real world

In Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation, I argue that religious traditions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in particular—offer a way of thinking about justice that poses an alternative to the globally dominant liberal peace and that holds out great promise for societies rebuilding in the wake of massive injustice.

Bronwyn Leebaw, in her post, notes that I seek to stave off the fate of Sophie Wilder, a character in a novel who converts to Catholicism then becomes estranged from her friends and family. Mirabile dictu, unlike Sophie Wilder, my book has met with great efforts to understand it, absorb it, and engage it thoughtfully, this at the hands of six reviewers each of whose own scholarship has contributed crucially to the contemporary conversation about the justice of dealing with past injustice. I am grateful. I am heartened, too, that each reviewer fundamentally “got” the book, grasping and in many ways finding sympathy with what I strove to argue.

Read the rest of Reconciliation in the real world.
Monday, July 14th, 2008

Arguing with An-Na`im

What is interesting about An-Na`im’s arguments is that they ground the case for the secular state not in the Quran, not in claims about the presence of the imago Dei in the person or in some other source of the person’s intrinsic dignity, not in natural law, some closely similar type of practical reason, or universal moral precepts, but rather in what might be called “second order” observations about the phenomenology of belief, the character of government, the lessons of history, and the like. To be sure, good reasons for the secular state lie therein. But are these arguments sufficient to ground an Islamic case for constitutionalism, human rights, and the secular state? I doubt it.

Read the rest of Arguing with An-Na`im.
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Political theology & liberal democracy

The idea of modern liberalism depends decisively on a jettisoning of theology as a source for arguing about politics: If there is one claim to which Lilla returns again and again from different angles, this is it….But in fact, ample evidence exists that traditional political theology has contributed vitally to incubating, sustaining, and expanding liberal democracy, in thought and in practice, before, during, and after the early modern religious wars.

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Religion, reconciliation, and transitional justice

God is not retreating from public life: this has to be one of the most interesting claims to come out of Charles Taylor’s book and the conversation that it has begotten. For religion’s public resurgence is one of the most interesting global trends of our time. One of the most colorful and dramatic sites of this resurgence are the efforts of so many countries to address genocide, the atrocities of civil war, and the injustices of dictatorship – as a common phrase in Northern Ireland puts it, to “deal with their past.” […]

Read the rest of Religion, reconciliation, and transitional justice.