Religious Studies Scholars and Government Engagement with Religion

In the past decade, considerable attention has been paid to religion in foreign policy, diplomacy, development assistance, and partnerships with domestic religious groups and charities. Government offices for interaction with religious groups are more common and greater attention is now paid to the challenges and opportunities for government engagement with religious communities. Yet critics have detailed the complexities of defining religion and the problems that might occur when governments interact with religions.
A panel of scholars addressed a series of questions from the standpoint of the religious studies academy: what are the methodological challenges surrounding government engagement with religion and the use of scholarship to achieve policy goals? What are the roles religious studies scholars can play in government work as scholars? Should the academy encourage more of this collaboration with the government?

This event was co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Committee for the Public Understanding of Religion of the American Academy of Religion. 

back to top