Christian Humanitarianism in the Face of Ethical Precarity
Join the Kroc Institute for a lecture by Cecelia Lynch, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine.
In her lecture, Lynch will discuss tensions in contemporary Christian humanitarianism, linking them to conceptual thought in interdisciplinary work on religion in international politics and empirical evidence from interviews with Christian humanitarian actors in different parts of the world. Drawing from a chapter in her forthcoming book, Wrestling with God, she illustrates the tensions between moves to guarantee the impartial delivery of humanitarian relief and those to ensure religious freedoms, relating these to previous tensions in Christian missionizing and western forms of secularization. She will also identify new insights for thinking about these tensions through engaging with recent work by non-western Christian theologians. Lynch argues that Christian humanitarians in the modern west must engage with their past as well as their present, acknowledging both the ethical precarity of past and present actions and the necessity of openness to new ontologies of humanitarianism and religion.