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Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression

The tension between the right to freedom of expression and the desire among many people and countries to prohibit blasphemous or religiously hurtful speech has become a focal point of relations between the Western and Muslim Worlds, as well as within and between other religious and cultural groups. Many countries, including but not limited to those that are predominantly Muslim, have laws against blasphemy or the defamation of religion; supporters claim that such restrictions on free speech...


Campus Conversation on Values

Where do young people come down on questions of faith, values, and public life? How do they relate their values to public policy issues including education, economic inequality, and the environment? These questions, critically important for the 2012 election, are at the center of a campus conversation being organized by the Berkley Center and Georgetown University. This resource page brings together publications, programs, events, polls, and candidate rhetoric bearing on these issues.



Faith in the 2008 Election

Religion played a significant role in the 2008 presidential campaign. Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, and the participants in both the Democratic and Republican primary races spoke out on their beliefs and their understandings of religion in public life during the race for the White House. Controversial topics included social questions such as abortion and same-sex marriage, the role of Islam in America, and the direction of US foreign policy towards Israel and the Muslim...


Faith in the 2012 Election

Religion emerged as an important issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. The personal religious identity of President Barack Obama and the Republican candidate, Governor Mitt Romney, remained a lingering issue throughout the campaign. The challenge of Islam in America and how to respond to the revolutions shaking the Muslim world has increasing salience. And divisive social issues with a religious dimension, including abortion and same-sex marriage, played a role in both the primaries and...


Interreligious Dialogue

Interfaith dialogue describes exchanges among religious practitioners and communities on matters of doctrine and issues of mutual concern in culture and politics. Explore the engagement of the world's religious traditions around theological questions and in their efforts to collaborate on questions of peace, human rights, and economic and social development.


Religion and Development Database

An increasing number of organizations and programs are grappling with problems at the intersection of religion and development. On this site you have access to the latest world news on the topic and can explore faith-related efforts across countries, regions, and issue areas. The Religion and Global Development Resources are supported by the Luce/SFS Program on Religion and International Affairs.


Religion and International Affairs

Interest in the intersection of religion and international affairs is growing around the world, and this database serves as a companion resource to the edited volume Rethinking Religion and World Affairs (2012), one of the first comprehensive guides to this complex topic. This page also includes links to the activities sponsored by the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs and to other networks of organizations and programs that address religion, society, and politics...


Religion and Law Database

Religion and law intersect around some of the most complex and contested global issues. This collection explores the religious dimensions of the rule of law, including comparative analysis of the influence of religion on legal systems in the vast array of modern nation-states and developing nations, the religious dimensions of international law and human rights, the religious sources for human rights protections, the legal enforcement of religious norms for behavior in diverse societies...


Religion and Politics in US History

Religion has long been a staple of American politics. At the national level presidents and candidates for the highest office have continually evoked religious themes, whether addressing foreign policy, economic and social issues, or their own convictions. This resource page assembles key statements by US presidents over time and provides an overview of three key themes: values issues (such as abortion), foreign policy, and Islam. It also includes position statements about religion from the...


Religion in China and the United States 中美宗教

The last three decades have seen a steady improvement in US-China relations, but religion remains a difficult issue. This bilingual website illuminates differences rooted in contrasting histories and political systems but also points to areas for dialogue and cooperation into the future. The site is in an early stage of development. We look forward to your comments. Contact: Amy Vander Vliet (



Religion in US Politics

Religion has long been a staple of American politics. At the national level politicians have continually evoked religious themes, whether addressing foreign policy, social, economic, and social issues, or their own convictions, and the nation continues to debate the proper role of religion in public life, including the structure of church-state relations and the nature of religious freedom in a religiously plural society. This resource page assembles statements from politicians, journalists,...

Religious Perspectives Database

Different religious traditions approach ethical and political questions in diverse but related ways. The Berkley Center's Religious Perspectives Database allows users to compare and contrast key scriptural passages across five traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. It features introductory essays by Georgetown professors.


The Building Bridges Seminar

For over ten years the Building Bridges Seminar has brought together a range of internationally recognized Christian and Muslim scholars for intensive study. Texts from the Christian and Islamic traditions are used as the basis for discussion in a program that includes public lectures and private sessions. The annual seminars, each lasting three days, have explored a number of the most significant themes in the interface between Islam and Christianity: scripture; prophecy; the common good;...


The Catholic Church in World Affairs

As one of the most ancient and extensive institutions in the modern age, the Catholic Church has had and continues to exert a significant influence on diverse world affairs. From the papacy to regional conferences of bishops to individual clergy and lay members alike, the Catholic Church remains active in its commentary and critique on modern political, economic, social, and religious issues. This page gathers together diverse sources and resources on what the Church has said on these various...


The Jesuits and Globalization

These resources were developed as part of a three-year project will examine the historical contributions of the Society of Jesus and in our increasingly global era, bringing together leading scholars and practitioners to explore Jesuit innovations and legacies in the areas of mission, education, and justice.

The Jesuits and Globalization Project
Jesuit Interview Series


The Olympic Movement

The Olympic Movement comprises individuals and organizations guided by the Olympic Charter and led by the International Olympic Committee. These include national and international sports federations, as well as athletes. Founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894, the Movement has since organized 27 Summer Games and 21 Winter Games in dozens of countries, and spearheaded projects in support of sport, health, culture and peace across the globe. The Olympic Movement seeks to put "sport at the...


The United Nations, Faith, and Ethics

From its origins after the Second World War, the United Nations has made ethics and values an important part of its work. The 1945 UN Charter and 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights established the principle of human dignity as the normative foundation of a just and peaceful world order. In the decades since, the United Nations has worked in conjunction with governments and other organizations, including religious communities, to enhance global cooperation and advance the struggle...


Values and the Global Economy

Since the global financial crisis that hit in 2008, debate has raged on the moral foundations of the world economy. To what degree is business obligated to combine the pursuit of profit with attention to the global common good—through support for basic human dignity, human rights, and respect for the natural environment? To what degree should national governments, international organizations, and global civil society hold business accountable? This resource page highlights some of the...


Women, Religion, and Peace

Scholars and policymakers have devoted much time and research to both the role of religious leaders in peace building and the role of women in peace building. A wide range of work has been done on issues at the intersection of gender and peace, but gaps remain in the knowledge and understanding of this topic. In July 2010, the Berkley Center, World Faiths Development Dialogue, and the United States Institute of Peace organized a conference on "An Exchange on Women's Roles for Peace: Is...