Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.

The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs is an academic research center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of religion, ethics, and politics. Its work focuses on global challenges of democracy and human rights, economic and social development, international diplomacy, and interreligious understanding. The center lists two guiding premises: "that a deep examination of faith and values is critical to address these challenges, and that the open engagement of religious and cultural traditions with one another can promote peace."[1] Conceived as part of Georgetown's "Initiative on Religion, Politics, and Peace" in 2004, the Berkley Center emerged as an independent organization in 2006 under a gift from William R. Berkley, a member of Georgetown's Board of Directors. The center is headed by Thomas Banchoff, Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown and the university's vice president for global engagement, and Michael Kessler, the center's managing director. .

Activities[edit]

The center holds a number of events and conferences each year, while also working with students and faculty at Georgetown. The Berkley Center Lectures bring global thought leaders to campus for presentations on topics at the intersection of religion, culture and politics. Past events have included hosting the controversial Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan for a series of teleconference speeches on Islam-West relations, a lecture by philosopher Charles Taylor on “Narratives of Secularity,” and a lecture by Hans Joas on “Universal Human Rights: A New Genealogy.”[.[2] Additionally, the center hosts an annual conference on religious pluralism, which has led to the publication of two compilations from Oxford University Press: Democracy and the New Religious Pluralism (2007)[3] and Religion and the Global Politics of Human Rights (2011).[4]


The center also hosted the conference “Faith, Culture, and the Common Good” in April 2014 as part of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, a program created by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on Culture in 2010. The event was the first of the Vatican’s Courtyard events to be held in the United States.[5]

Knowledge Resources[edit]

In addition to hosting live events, the center has a Knowledge Resources website that acts as a digital resource on religion and world affairs. The resources cover religion’s relation to politics and culture, five major world religions, 68 countries, and other topics. [6]

Student engagement[edit]

The center also directs initiatives engaging Georgetown students on issues relating to the center's mission of studying the interplay of religion and politics. The Junior Year Abroad Network and the Undergraduate Learning and Interreligious Understanding Survey have been active since the Berkley Center's establishment in 2006. In 2010, the Berkley Center founded the Education and Social Justice Project in partnership with Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice.[7] The project allows students to learn about the global challenges of poverty and education by completing a project abroad. These programs are part of the Doyle Engaging Difference Initiative,[8] a campus-wide collaboration between the Berkley Center, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), and Georgetown College, designed to promote tolerance and intellectual engagement with diversity in the curriculum and in co-curricular activities. The initiative is made possible through the support of William J. Doyle, a member of the Georgetown University Board of Directors.

Junior Year Abroad Network[edit]

In 2006, the center created the Junior Year Abroad Network[9] for the large number of Georgetown students who study abroad during their junior year. Through the network, students post letters online with their observations about the intersection of religion, culture, society, and politics in their host countries. Upon their return, they share their experiences and publish a report on their findings. So far, 425 students 54 countries have participated..

Undergraduate Learning and Interreligious Understanding Survey[edit]

The center and Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship conducted a five-year longitudinal study tracking the changes in student attitudes towards religious diversity during their four years at Georgetown. The goal of the project[10] is to identify best practices for encouraging interfaith tolerance at educational institutions.

Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs Certificate[edit]

Beginning in Fall 2011, the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service has offered a Certificate on Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs[11] in collaboration with the center. The programs covers Faith and Ethics in International Relations; Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective; and Religion in History and Culture.

Education and Social Justice Project[edit]

In early 2010, the center collaborated with the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service, and with Rodney Jacob, a member of the Georgetown University Board of Regents, to create the Education and Social Justice Project[12] to develop student experiences surrounding the connections between the global challenges of poverty and education. The project provides students with summer research fellowships to travel abroad and conduct in-depth examinations of topical initiatives, with a focus on the work of Jesuit secondary and post-secondary institutions, ultimately producing reports under faculty supervision. In the program’s first year, three students were hosted by St. Aloysius Gonzaga School in Nairobi, Kenya; Ateneo de Manila University in Manila, Philippines; and the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile. Students have also studied and researched in Argentina, Cambodia, Peru, Poland, India, South Africa, El Salvador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Uganda, and France.

World Faiths Development Dialogue[edit]

Established in 1998 by World Bank President James Wolfensohn and Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey, the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD)[13] is an NGO based at the center bridging the worlds of faith and secular development and supporting research and dialogue on global policy challenges. Katherine Marshall, who leads the Berkley Center’s Program on Religion and Global Development, serves as Executive Director. The WFDD is housed at the center and collaborates closely with the center on many projects.

Henry Luce Foundation[edit]

Since 2006, the center and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) have worked with the Henry Luce Foundation. The Luce Foundation supports key religion and development work at the country level in Bangladesh, Senegal, Kenya and Guatemala. [14] The Luce/SFS Program on Religion and International Affairs[15] has supported two program areas — Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy and Religion and Global Development — as well as the center’s outreach to government and other academic centers and institutes around the world.

World Economic Forum[edit]

In 2007, the center began a collaboration with the Geneva-based World Economic Forum around issues of faith, values, and the global agenda. In January 2010, the Center co-produced a report[16] on the topic released at the Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. In September 2011, Georgetown and the Forum convened a conference at Georgetown to explore efforts to close values deficits in business and government.

John Templeton Foundation[edit]

In January 2011, the center received a grant from the Templeton Foundation to create a Religious Freedom Project.[17] Led by the Center’s Thomas Farr and Timothy Shah, the project seeks to advance the study of religious freedom as an interdisciplinary field. The center received a second grant in 2014 from the Templeton Religion Trust to study the persecution of Christian communities around the world in partnership with the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame. [18]

Programs[edit]

The Berkley Center has seven major areas of academic research, each led by a member of the Berkley Center's faculty. The American Pilgrimage Project, led by Paul Elie, invites Americans of diverse backgrounds to talk to each other about the role religious beliefs play at crucial moments in their lives. The Doyle Engaging Difference Program, led by Michael Kessler, supports the center’s Doyle Seminars program, the Junior Year Abroad Network, and Doyle student fellows, emphasizing engagement with religious and cultural differences. The Faith, Values, and Public Life program, led by Thomas Banchoff, explores the intersection of globalization with contemporary issues. The Program in Globalization, Religions, and the Secular,[19] led by José Casanova, brings together scholars across disciplines to explore questions related to the intersection between globalization and the resurgence of public religion. The Islam and World Politics Program, led by Jocelyne Cesari, addresses the intersection of Islam and politics in areas including democratization, immigration, and women’s rights. The Program in Law, Religion, and Values,[20] led by Berkley Center Associate Director Michael Kessler, is dedicated to the investigation of how religion and values legitimate, shape, and conflict with global political, cultural, and legal systems in transnational and comparative perspective. The Religion and Global Development Program,[21] led by Katherine Marshall, tracks the engagement of religious communities around global policy challenges and brings together stakeholders to examine best practices and advance collaboration. The Program in Religious and U.S. Foreign Policy,[22] led by Thomas Farr, explores the role of religion in U.S. foreign policy, with special attention to issues of human rights and international religious freedom. The Program on the Church and the World, led by Gerard Mannion and Fr. Drew Christiansen, addresses the Catholic Church’s teachings on justice and peace that are relevant to global challenges of economic and social development, democracy and human rights, conflict resolution, and interreligious dialogue.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  2. ^ Pamela Constable, Washington Post, April 11, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/10/AR2007041001509.html.
  3. ^ "Oxford University Press: Democracy and the New Religious Pluralism: Thomas Banchoff". Us.oup.com. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  4. ^ "Oxford University Press: Religion and the Global Politics of Human Rights: Thomas Banchoff". Oup.com. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  5. ^ http://www.thehoya.com/25773/
  6. ^ "Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  7. ^ http://www.georgetown.edu/news/education-social-justice-project.html
  8. ^ "Doyle Undergraduate Initiatives | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  9. ^ "Junior Year Abroad Network | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  10. ^ "Undergraduate Learning and Interreligious Understanding Survey | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  11. ^ "Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs Certificate | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  12. ^ "Education and Social Justice Project | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  13. ^ "World Faiths Development Dialogue | World Faiths Development Dialogue | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  14. ^ "The Henry Luce Foundation". Hluce.org. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ "Complete.r4" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  17. ^ "Religious Freedom Project | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  18. ^ http://www.thehoya.com/gu-researches-persecution/
  19. ^ "Globalization, Religions, and the Secular | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  20. ^ "Law, Religion, and Values | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  21. ^ "Religion and Global Development | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  22. ^ "Religion and US Foreign Policy | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs | Georgetown University". Berkleycenter.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 

External links[edit]