Kyle Vander Meulen joined the Berkley Center in January 2011. Before coming to the Center, he completed his master's studies in Divinity at the...
May 1, 2012
Rethinking Religion and World Affairs
The Berkley Center hosted the launch of an unprecedented new volume: Rethinking Religion and World Affairs (Oxford, 2012), edited by Timothy Shah, Alfred Stepan, and Monica Toft, and produced under the auspices of the Social Science Research Council through the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.
Too often steeped in a secularist mindset, academics, policy makers, and opinion shapers have only just begun to reckon with the varied impact of religion on global politics, society, media, gender issues, diplomacy, and economic development. Rethinking Religion and World Affairs documents how scholars, policy professionals, and journalists are now grappling with global religious dynamics and influences. The launch of the book featured the volume's editors as well as three of its contributors: Michael Barnett of George Washington University and Thomas Farr and Katherine Marshall, both of the Berkley Center. The panel asked: How much real progress has been made in "rethinking religion and world affairs" in the worlds of scholarship and policy making? And what further progress is needed, particularly in terms of new concepts, methods, and research agendas?
Timothy Samuel Shah is associate director of the Religious
Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World
Affairs and visiting assistant professor in the Government Department,
Georgetown University. He is a political scientist specializing in the relationship
between religion and political freedom in theory, history, and contemporary
practice. Shah is author, with Monica Duffy Toft and Daniel Philpott, of God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (W.W. Norton, 2011) and is editor of an Oxford University Press series on “Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in the Global South” that has so far generated three volumes. His articles on religion and global politics have appeared in Foreign Affairs,
Foreign Policy, the Journal of Democracy, the Review of Politics, and elsewhere.
Monica Duffy Toft is professor of government and public policy at Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government. She previously was associate professor of public policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government from 2004 to 2012 and director of the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs from 2007 to 2012; she was the assistant director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies from 1999 to 2006. Her research interests include international relations, religion, nationalism and ethnic conflict, civil and interstate wars, the relationship between demography and national security, and military and strategic planning. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in political science and slavic languages and literatures from the University of California, Santa Barbara, summa cum laude.
Alfred Stepan is Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government at Columbia University; director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion; and co-director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life. One of his research interests includes the world's religious systems and democracy, and he is widely known for his article "Religion, Democracy, and the 'Twin Tolerations'" (2000). His two most recent works are Democracy in Multinational Societies: India and Other Polities (2010), with Juan Linz and Yogendra Yadav, and Democracies in Danger (2009). Stepan previously taught at Yale University for thirteen years; the first rector of Central European University; the Gladstone Professor of Government at All Souls College, Oxford University; and the dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Michael Barnett is a professor at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. Barnett previously taught at the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin, Macalester College, Wellesley College, and the Hebrew University of...
Thomas F. Farr is director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and a visiting associate professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown’s Edmund A....
Katherine Marshall is a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, where she leads the Center's program on Religion and Global Development. After a long career in the development field, including several leadership...