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News Archives - Religion & International Affairs | 2012

  • “Fault Lines of Faith” documentary screened at Council on Foreign Relations conference

    The Bureau of International Reporting (BIR), whose PBS NewsHour series “Fault Lines of Faith” launched in February 2012 with support from the HRL Initiative, was invited to present its documentary on the Southern Thai insurgency at a forum this November at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC. The forum, entitled “Shadows and Mist: The Persistent Southern Thailand Insurgency, its Drivers, and its Future,” included as panelists Kira Kay, founder of BIR; Joshua Kurlantzick, CFR Fellow for Southeast Asia (a position supported by the Luce Foundation’s Asia program); and Paul Stares, Director of the Center for Preventive Action. A screening of the short film was followed by a discussion with representatives from the Thai and Malaysian embassies. Other “Fault Lines of Faith” stories have covered sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland, and the election campaign of Narendra Modi, controversial chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat.

  • The Other Half of Tomorrow to kick off Margaret Mead Film Festival

    On November 29th, The Other Half of Tomorrow, a series of linked documentary shorts offering a portrait of contemporary Pakistani society through the eyes of Pakistani women, will debut at the opening night of the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival at the American Museum of Natural History, NYC. The film, directed by Sadia Shepard and Samina Quraeshi, follows the lives of seven Pakistani women working to bring positive change to their communities, from the captain of the Pakistan National Women’s Cricket Team to a school principal in the embattled Swat Valley, to a dancer determined to preserve Pakistani classical dance despite a government ban on dance performance by women. Produced with a grant to the New England Foundation for the Arts, the film is part of a multi-media project focusing on the challenges of daily life in the context of religious, economic, social and political forces that are fracturing Pakistani society.

  • Digital Religion: Knowledge, Politics and Practice—Events at the Center for Religion and Media

    Two fall events held by the Digital Religion: Knowledge, Politics and Practice project at the Center for Religion and Media at New York University place the spotlight on the Middle East. On October 11, author Amahl Bishara discusses her new book Back Stories, an examination of the contributions of Palestinian journalists to U.S. news. And on October 18, a showing of The Light in Her Eyes, a documentary about a girls’ Qur’an school in Damascus, offers viewers a window into the meaning of women’s rights advocacy in a conservative Muslim society, as well as a glimpse of pre-civil war Syria.

  • Symposium on Religious Exemptions in U.S. Healthcare

    On October 5, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University held a one-day symposium to examine the constitutional, public policy, political, and ethical issues raised by the practice of religious exemptions, also known as “conscience clauses,” in U.S. healthcare. Religious exemptions allow healthcare professionals to refuse to perform otherwise legal medical services on account of religious beliefs or issues of conscience. The symposium, co-presented with NYU's Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, was organized as part of a larger project on Religion and Politics in the Americas.

  • New installment in PBS NewsHour series "Fault Lines of Faith"

    A new report on sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland aired on PBS NewsHour on July 11, 2012 as part of an ongoing series highlighting international religious conflict, produced by The Bureau for International Reporting. The series, entitled "Fault Lines of Faith," began this February with a segment on religious conflict in Southern Thailand. As part of its work in Northern Ireland, the BIR has created a video diary project that aims to bridge the gap between Protestant and Catholic youth in Belfast.

  • International Reporting Project awards 2012 fellowships

    Four journalists — Emily Brennan, Kimberly Burge, Jesse Dukes, and Alexis Okeowo — have been selected by the International Reporting Project for fellowships that will send them to Haiti, South Africa, Guatemala, and Nigeria respectively to report on religion-related topics. These journalists are the second group of IRP Fellows in two years to receive fellowships supported by a grant from the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs to promote international reporting on religion. In 2011, four other journalists were selected for HRLI-supported fellowships in Ethiopia, Ireland, Swaziland, and Thailand, and their stories were featured on the BBC, Colorado Public Radio, WAMU-FM, and various print and online publications. The IRP, based at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, has sent nearly 200 journalists to over 100 different countries since 1998.

  • Book Launch at Georgetown’s Berkley Center

    On May 1, 2012, Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs hosted the launch of a new volume: Rethinking Religion and World Affairs (Oxford, 2012), edited by Timothy Shah, Alfred Stepan, and Monica Toft, and produced with support from the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs. The book documents how scholars, policy professionals, and journalists are now grappling with global religious dynamics and influences. The launch of the book will feature the volume's editors as well as three of its contributors: Michael Barnett (George Washington University), Thomas Farr (Berkeley Center), and Katherine Marshall (Berkeley Center). The panel will ask: How much real progress has been made in "rethinking religion and world affairs" in the worlds of scholarship and policy making? And what further progress is needed, particularly in terms of new concepts, methods, and research agendas?

  • Book Publication: Religion, Identity, and Global Governance

    A new book, edited by Patrick James, director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California, asks how we can establish when religious identity is a relevant factor in explaining or understanding politics; when and how religion can be applied to advance positive, peace-oriented agendas in global governance; and how governments can reconsider their foreign and domestic policies in light of religious resurgence around the world. Created with support from the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs, Religion, Identity, and Global Governance: Ideas, Evidence, and Practice (University of Toronto Press, 2011) contends that global governance cannot and will not improve unless it can find a way to coexist with the powerful force of religion.

  • Conference on Religion and International Affairs at Arizona State University

    The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University held a conference on March 15-16, “Religion and International Affairs: Through the Prism of Rights and Gender.” An interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners gathered to explore and rethink paradigms about the relationships between religion, secularism, gender, and rights. The conference was open to the public and included keynote speakers Martha Nussbaum, Saba Mahmood, and Hauwa Ibrahim. Panelists from abroad joined with ASU faculty who have been participating in an ASU project supported by the Luce Foundation, which has included faculty seminars, visiting scholars and practitioners, and interdisciplinary graduate seminars.

  • PBS airs first in a new series of stories from The Bureau for International Reporting

    The first report in a new PBS NewsHour series, “Fault Lines of Faith,” was aired on February 21. Produced by The Bureau for International Reporting, the story focused on the insurgency in Southern Thailand, where conflict between minority Muslims and majority Buddhists has resulted in the deaths of 5,000 people since 2004.

  • Digital Religion: Knowledge, Politics and Practice—Events at the Center for Religion and Media

    The Digital Religion: Knowledge, Politics and Practice project at the Center for Religion and Media at New York University held two spring events. “Tahrir Square, 2012: Women and Religious Minorities”—short films, digital media, and discussion with journalist Mona Eltahawy, Coptic filmmaker and scholar Viola Shafik, and Yasmin Moll (Anthropology, NYU)—was held March 1, at NYU. “Blogistan and Beyond: Religion, the Internet, and Politics in Iran,” a conversation between scholars from Columbia University, the University of London, and NYU, took place on February 17.

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    Religion & International Affairs News Archives