Do Religion and Religious Freedom Impede or Enhance Security?

A Lunchtime Conversation

February 21, 2023
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EST
Location: Berkley Center 3rd Floor Conference Room Map

Security and religion are often assumed to be in opposition. Policymakers at times present religious freedom, alongside other human rights, as needing to be “balanced” with national security considerations. To bolster efforts to challenge this paradigm, an international group of scholars and policy professionals came together to explore how the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's framework of “comprehensive security” can help us rethink the relationship between religion, religious freedom, and security. The research of this consortium is now available in a new special issue of The Review of Faith & International Affairs.

At this launch event, co-editors Judd Birdsall and Pasquale Annicchino introduced the special issue and briefly discussed their individual contributions—Birdsall’s analysis of obstacles to a fuller embrace of comprehensive security among evangelicals and Annicchino’s analysis of threats to religious freedom brought by digital technologies. Marco Ventura discussed his research on the intersection of religion, security, and the environment. Given the urgency of the situation in Ukraine, this event gave particular attention to Kristina Stoeckl’s article on Russia’s development of “spiritual security” as a rival to comprehensive security.

This event was co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University and the Review of Faith & International Affairs.

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