Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

Several months ago, I read Madeline Albright's recent book The Mighty and the Almighty,
in which the former Secretary of State under President Clinton explored the intersections of religion, politics, and foreign policy. It's an excellent book for reading and discussion. Given the volatile nature of religion and politics in the world today, Albright sought to address what she acknowleded to be a long neglected topic in foreign affairs, that can no longer stand.

Recently I've come across another significant resource for relating religion to politics and world affairs, located at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The website is as follows A brief description of this university program follows:

The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
The Berkley Center explores the intersection of religion with contemporary global challenges: relations among states and societies; global development; democracy and human rights; and culture and identity. Two foundational premises guide the Center's work: that scholarship on religion and its role in world affairs can help to address these challenges effectively; and that the open engagement of religious traditions with one another and with the wider society can promote peace. The Center was created in March 2006 through a generous grant by William R. Berkley.

The Berkley Center also offers major databases for education and research, one of which I particulary found interesting: Faith 2008 which explores the following questions-

  1. Will faith play the role in the 2008 election that it did in 2004 ?
  2. How will candidates articulate their personal beliefs?
  3. How will they relate their beliefs to public policy issues ranging from education and social policy to terrorism and the war in Iraq?

I think you'll find this site quite interesting and valuable.


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