ABSTRACT

Right from the beginning, the book at hand has been dominated by two interlinked lines of thought. On the one hand, it took the general idea of a worldwide and recent increase of religions’ individual and/or societal significance as the central marker of the resurgence debates and used this concept to identify the subject-matter of the present analyses as the starting-point for the present analyses. On the other hand, it introduced an approach that inverses the main direction of the classical resurgence debates by looking into what the author described as the ‘black box’ of a particular set of religiously affiliated organizations – the Religious Non-governmental Organizations (RNGOs) that have successfully approached the United Nations (UN) for formal accreditation. Based upon these two lines of thought, the four main chapters of the book focused upon detailed, empirical analyses of two specific RNGOs formally accredited to the UN (the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs and Pax Romana). In order to analyse these two cases, Chapter 4 presented a general description of the context of the UN with a particular focus on the development of the human rights discourse from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s. Chapters 5 and 6 provided detailed analyses of the construction of UN-and human rights-related discourses within the two cases, with a particular emphasis on their embeddedness in their respective religious traditions. Chapter 7 finally compared the results of the two case analyses and linked the developments of the cases back to the broader developments of the RNGO community in order to work towards a generalization of the research results. The present chapter is now the place to come back to the general heuristics frame of reference formulated in Chapters 1 and 2. In order to do so, it will use the results of the two case analyses and their generalization to re-focus on the three questions that served as major points of reference for all the different steps that have so far been taken:

1 How far is the so-called resurgence of religions based upon changes inside a specific group of religiously affiliated organizations that describe themselves as Religious NGOs?