Berkley Center Annual Report 2018-2019

December 11, 2019

During the 2018-2019 academic year, a resurgence in far-right nationalism around the globe followed a continued rise in the number of displaced persons. The impact of escalating tensions between the United States and China rippled through the global economy, politics, and culture. The assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi illustrated ongoing threats against human rights and press freedom. At home, the United States faced a turbulent political climate. Partisan divides over how best to deal with migrants from Central America resulted in a 35-day federal government shutdown. This past year, our research, teaching, and outreach at the center explored the religious dimension of these and other international developments.

Highlights include: 

  • Two major conferences—one focused on the global refugee and migration crisis and the other on faith-based engagement in the fight against antimicrobial resistance—and events that examined the relationship between religion, radicalization, and violence; climate change; and Pope Francis’ pontificate. 
  • A new Geopolitics of Religious Soft Power project analyzing how states use transnational religious propagation for political ends.
  • Numerous books and articles by center faculty and scholars furthering research on religious nationalism, the ethics of war and peacemaking, human rights in Catholic social teaching, globalization and secularism, and the role of faith actors in achieving development goals. 
  • The continued success of the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, which brings together faculty and students from across the curriculum to address issues that cut across religious, cultural, and other divides.

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