On May 15, Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture will host a panel, “Saving the World: Does Faith-Based Humanitarian Aid Deliver Relief or Redemption?”–
Faith-based humanitarianism has become a growth industry in recent years, channeling the influence of privately-held religious commitments into the public sphere around the globe. Yet surprisingly little is known about these initiatives—and to what extent their religious inspiration might help or hinder their success, particularly in troubled regions marked by religious division and conflict.
Does the added dimension of faith contribute something unique to humanitarian work? Or is faith-based aid really just another form of religious proselytizing?
This forum will compare faith-based organizations to their secular counterparts and look at how they are transforming the landscape of humanitarian intervention today.
Details are here.
On Tuesday, April 16, Fordham’s Institute on Religion, Law & Lawyer’s Work will host the Martin J. Hertz Lecture in Jewish Law and Culture: “How Concepts of Jewish Peoplehood Inform Legal Rulings.” The lecture will be delivered by Rabbi David Ellenson of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion:
Disputes surrounding the nature of conversion to Judaism are at the center of some of the most contentious legal debates taking place in modern Jewish jurisprudence. In this lecture, diverse rulings issued by Orthodox rabbis on matters related to conversion will be presented and analyzed. In so doing, it will be shown that these decisions do not simply present Jewish legal judgment in an instant case, Rather, these holdings are policy stances that rabbis are advancing in order to define membership in the Jewish people in an era where intermarriage is common and where the borders of the Jewish community are often porous and indeterminate. It will argued that way in which each individual rabbinic decisor views the notion of Jewish peoplehood serves as an independent and often decisive variable in informing the decisions that rabbis issue in these cases.
Details are here.
The S.I. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah will host a lecture, “The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology,” on April 11. The speaker will be Mary Evelyn Tucker of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Details are here.
The Immaculate Conception Church in Astoria will host a three-part lecture series next month by Ryan Williams of the Immaculate Conception Seminary: “Christianity and Secularism.” Details are here.
On March 26 in Washington, Georgetown’s Berkley Center will host a book talk by Katherine Marshall, “Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers”:
Religious institutions play diverse and often poorly understood roles in world affairs, even though many were among the first organizations to gain a global reach. A new book, Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers, by Katherine Marshall, fills a gap in current literature by examining the wide range of bodies that govern and coordinate religious communities, their relations with other transnational institutions, and their role in the world today.
Marshall will discuss her latest book in the context of her career as a practitioner and scholar, and offer thoughts on the religious dimensions of issues such as human rights, human security, climate change, international development, and humanitarian relief.
Details are here.
The Foreign Policy Research Institute will host a briefing, “The Muslim Brotherhood and the West,” on March 20 in Washington:
Few observers foresaw the Arab Spring, but it should not have surprised anyone that the Islamist movements–the most organized movements in the Arab world–became the main beneficiaries of the turmoil that ensued. Islamism, in its gradualist and pragmatic approach embodied by the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots worldwide, seems ready to reap the rewards of its three decades-old decision to abandon violence and focus on grassroots activities. This monumental change has created many concerns among liberals, religious minorities and, more generally, all non-Islamists in the countries where Islamists have won. In addition, Arab states ruled by non-Islamist regimes have expressed concern. The former worry that Islamist ideology–even in its more contemporary, pragmatic form–remains deeply divisive and anti-democratic, often at odds with their values and interests. The latter believe that on foreign policy issues, most of the positions of various Brotherhood-inspired parties are on a collision course with the policies of established regimes in the region.
The event will be webcast live. Details are here.
On March 14, St. Nersess Armenian Orthodox Seminary in Westchester will host a lecture by Professor Christopher Guzelian (Thomas Jefferson), “Seeing God Through Law.” The lecture is part of a series on law and faith. Details are here.
CLR Forum readers in New York City: I’ll be speaking next Wednesday, February 20, at a meeting of the Religion Communicators Council. My talk will address the emerging field of law and religion. Details are here. Please stop by and say hello!