© 2013

Pilgrimage, Politics, and International Relations

Religious Semantics for World Politics

  • Authors

Part of the Culture and Religion in International Relations book series (CRIR)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Mariano Barbato
    Pages 55-82
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 183-229

About this book


A standout contribution to post-secular IR theory, this book addresses issues of global politics, from cooperation to conflict, and shows how a religious metaphor, the pilgrim, can help us to rethink our concepts of self, agency, and community in a time of changing world order.


conflict international relations liberty policy politics world order

About the authors

Mariano Barbato is a professor of European Studies at the University of Passau (Germany) and also founding director of the Centre for European Studies and International Relations at Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoco (Romania).

Bibliographic information


"In this fascinating and imaginative book, Mariano Barbato transgresses outdated boundaries between the theological and the political to present pilgrimage as a source of imagination for world politics. In an age of mobility, the pilgrim offers a positive model for negotiating both continuity and change. This book is full of interesting narratives and rigorous conceptual analysis, and it offers international relations a new way forward in a postsecular age." - William T. Cavanaugh, Senior Research Professor, Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, DePaul University

"In Barbato's book, the notion of pilgrimage serves as a conceptual tool in his attempt to understand our current age, which he calls 'the age of transformation'. This, for millions of people around the world in the context of globalisation, implies 'taking leave and being on the way', as an often constant, not always favourable, experience. This rich and densely argued book is a welcome addition to the small - yet, growing - number of monographs which seek to engage with the thorny issue of post-secular IR theory." Jeffrey Haynes, Associate Dean of Faculty, Research and Postgraduate, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion, Conflict and Cooperation, London Metropolitan University

"This is a very learned, thoughtful, and engaging book that is simply a pleasure to read. It uses the concept of postsecular pilgrimage to theorize about the self, agency, and community in a global age that points toward a deeper reconfiguration of the way we look at religion, politics, and international relations." - Scott M. Thomas, senior lecturer in International Relations and the Politics of Developing Countries, University of Bath

"Resisting mainstream 'securitization' of religion in international relations studies, Barbato makes a wide-ranging and sustained argument for the creative import of religious semantics in world politics. The post-secular perspective defended is original and, often, persuasive." - Richard Beardsworth, Professor of International Relations Theory, Florida International University, Miami

"Mariano Barbato's fascinating new book is a self-consciously normative call for the adoption of religious imagery as a tool for understanding the central dynamics that define world politics in our day The book is a challenging and welcome corrective to the (still) stubbornly secular focus of much of contemporary Social Science." - Timothy Byrnes, Professor of Political Science, Coordinator of Benton Scholars, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

"An outstanding meditation on the role of the pilgrim as a political actor in a globalised world - inspiring, original and thought-provoking. A fascinating must-read for believers and agnostics alike!" - Thomas Diez, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Tübingen, Germany