Coexist:  Religion, Civil Society, and Global Order


Paul S. Rowe


“Coexist” was the title of a widely-sported logo incorporating images from many great work religions that became popular in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.  The logo implied that religious voices can retain their distinctive natures while forming a part of a vibrant associational life.  It was promoted on t-shirts, in a museum exhibition, and throughout the U2 Vertigo world tour.  Using the multifarious coexist campaign as a touchstone, this paper will argue that religious actors as motors of global order hold great promise in their ability to bridge cultures, as transformational actors, and as promoters of conflict resolution.  While the news headlines persist in portraying substate religious actors as threats to a harmonious global order, this ignores the potent quotidian contributions of religious actors that provide the spice of life worldwide.  In their mundanity, these actions are more constitutive of world order than the punctuated though spectacular actions associated with religious radicalism.


Dr. Paul S. Rowe is an Associate Professor of Political Studies at the Trinity Western University.

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