Rethinking Religion and World Affairs: The Berkley Center Tenth Anniversary Symposium

Issues of religion and world affairs are as salient in the media today as in 2006 when the Berkley Center was founded. And unfortunately much of the news is still negative. Still, there is every reason for hope. The religious people who comprise about four-fifths of humanity overwhelmingly reject faith-inspired violence and identify with values of justice and peace. And religious institutions—communities of worship, schools, hospitals, and aid organizations of different kinds—take roles in world affairs that affirm the essential dignity of human beings and advance the common good.
How can we better tap the positive currents within and across traditions to advance deeper interreligious understanding? And how should we think about—and act on—the changing relationship between religion, violence, and peace in today’s world? The Berkley Center Tenth Anniversary Symposium convened thought leaders and practitioners to address these crucial questions. The symposium was preceded by a keynote address by Madeleine Albright on the afternoon of April 7.


10:00 a.m. | Welcome and Introduction, Thomas Banchoff

10:15 a.m. | Interfaith Dialogue: Lessons Learned and Paths Forward
Akbar Ahmed, American University
Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
Preet Singh, Preet Singh and Partners
Miroslav Volf, Yale Divinity School
José Casanova (moderator), Georgetown University

11:45 a.m. | Lunch

1:00 p.m. | Podium Discussion between Karen Armstrong and John J. DeGioia

2:00 p.m. | Religion, Violence, and Peace: Rethinking the Connections
Shaun Casey, Department of State
Michael Gerson, Washington Post
Bryan Hehir, Harvard University
Sayeeda Warsi, House of Lords
Thomas Banchoff (moderator), Georgetown University

related event | Religion, Peace, and World Affairs: The Challenges Ahead

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