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News Archives - Religion & International Affairs | 2014

  • Columbia University Press publishes Choreographies of Sacred Sites: Religion, Politics, & Conflict Resolution

    Choreographies of Sacred Sites: Religion, Politics, & Conflict Resolution explores the dynamics of how religious sites are shared between members of different faiths, between secular and religious authorities, and between local and national stakeholders in Cyprus, Bosnia, Turkey and Israel, Palestine and Algeria. Edited by Elazar Barkan, Professor of International and Public Affairs, and Karen Barkey, Professor of Sociology and History, the essays “delineate the religious and political factors that contribute to… conflict at these sites and draw on history and anthropology to shed light on the often rapid switch among relative tolerance, distress, peace and calm.” The book is part of a larger Luce-supported project at Columbia University, which has received grants from the initiative on religion and international affairs starting in 2006.

  • Luce grantee Krista Tippett receives National Humanities Medal

    Krista Tippett is one of ten Americans to be honored this year with the 2013 National Humanities Medal, presented by President Barack Obama. Tippett is the creator and host of On Being, a public radio program devoted to exploring moral and spiritual aspects of the human experience. The White House praised On Being for “avoiding easy answers, embracing complexity, and inviting people of all faiths, no faith, and every background to join the conversation.” Speaking of Faith, Tippett’s first radio program and the original incarnation of On Being, was supported by the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs from 2005 to 2013.

  • NYU hosts symposium: “Religious Freedom ‘versus’ Equal Rights?”

    On April 25th, legal scholars, policy practitioners and religious studies scholars from across the Americas gathered to consider the tensions – real and alleged – between religious freedom and social equality, especially for women and LGBT people. Part of an initiative on “Managing Religious Diversity in the Neoliberal Americas,” the symposium examined challenges faced by historically dominant religious institutions in the region, responses of local actors, and analytical frameworks that could cross national boundaries. The event was hosted by NYU’s Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, which received a three-year grant from the Luce Foundation in 2013.

  • Conference on “Religion, Democracy, and the Arab Awakening” on April 25th

    On April 25th, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California will host a conference on “Religion, Democracy, and the Arab Awakening.” Among the topics to be addressed are the role of social media in the Arab awakening, the position of religious minorities in Jewish and Muslim states, and the Sunni-Shia divide. Tariq Ramadan from Oxford University will give the keynote address. A Luce Foundation grant to USC in 2012 supports innovative media coverage of religion and international affairs, especially through a collaboration with the online international reporting site,

  • Columbia University Press publishes new series on Religion, Culture and Public Life

    In 2013, Columbia University Press published several books that were nurtured by Luce Foundation grants to the university’s Center for Democracy, Toleration and Religion. Democracy, Islam & Secularism in Turkey, edited by Ahmet T. Kuru and Alfred Stepan (also translated into Turkish), explores the country’s unique policy choices, which have promoted the image of a progressive, stable nation while straining Turkey’s relationship with both the East and the West. Democracy & Islam in Indonesia, edited by Mirjam Künkler and Alfred Stepan, looks at how the world’s most populous Muslim country made a successful transition from military government to an inclusive, pluralist democracy. Tolerance, Democracy and Sufis in Senegal, edited by Mamadou Diouf, examines the meanings of tolerance and secularism in a social and political system dominated by Sufi brotherhoods, and provides an historical ethnography of the formation of Senegalese democracy. Boundaries of Toleration, edited by Alfred Stepan and Charles Taylor, was published in 2014, and other volumes are in progress. These works are all part of a new book series on Religion, Culture and Public Life, which includes the 2011 volume edited by Jack Snyder, Religion and International Relations Theory.

  • Journalism Fellows Shed Light on Religious Issues Overseas

    The International Reporting Project (IRP)’s 2013 Religion Fellows have used their three-week travel grants to bring under-represented stories to a wider audience. OZY, the online magazine devoted to covering stories that fall outside of a typical news cycle, has just published Allyn Gaestel’s piece, “Senegal’s Sufi Celebrities,” on the rise of tele-imams, who host many of the country’s most popular talk shows. Rowan Moore Gerety’s reporting on interactions between faith healing and Western medicine in Nigeria has appeared in Slate, The Atlantic, and Public Radio International, and Kate Linthicum has published a series of articles on tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar in the Los Angeles Times. The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, which houses IRP, received a three-year grant from the Luce Foundation in 2012 to strengthen media coverage of religion and international affairs.

  • Interfaith Voices receives Wilbur Award for reporting on Egypt

    The Religion Communicators Council has presented a Wilbur Award to the radio magazine Interfaith Voices for its recent reporting on religious conflict in Egypt. The broadcast, a part of Interfaith Voices’ “God and Government” series, examined the Egyptian government’s attempts to control the country’s small, private mosques, by requiring that all licensed imams be graduates of Al-Azhar University, which like the government opposes the Muslim Brotherhood. The piece was published in January by a fellow Luce grantee, “The World” program at Public Radio International. The Wilbur Award recognizes organizations that model “professionalism, fairness, and honesty” in discussions of religion. Faith Matters received a three-year grant from the Luce Foundation in 2013 to support the program Interfaith Voices.

  • Duke University Press publishes “Politics of Religious Freedom: Contested Genealogies”

    Duke University Press has published a special issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly, entitled “Politics of Religious Freedom: Contested Genealogies.” By examining the contexts in which the right to religious liberty emerged in early modern Europe, in liberal political thought, during the Cold War, and in contemporary American evangelical movements, the special issue questions dominant narratives of this right as a universally shared and fundamentally neutral principle. Other essays focus on the emergence and exercise of the right to religious liberty in South Asia and the Middle East. “Politics of Religious Freedom: Contested Genealogies” was edited by Professors Saba Mahmood and Peter Danchin, two organizers of the University of California, Berkeley's “Politics of Religious Freedom” Project, which a received three-year grant from the Luce Foundation in 2010.

  • Conference examines “Media and Religion: The Global View”

    On January 9th-12th, the Center for Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Colorado, Boulder, hosted the fifth in a biennial series of conferences designed to explore the intersection of media and religion. The presentations included research papers from 13 countries. A plenary session on “Religion and Digital Media: Scholarship, Journalism and the Spaces in Between,” was organized by the Social Sciences Research Council and supported by a special grant from Luce Foundation to the University of Colorado. The session included editors, writers, and scholars who are using the online environment as a new context for the dissemination of knowledge and discussions about the changing world of religion. The Center’s next conference, focusing on media, religion, and gender, is planned for January, 2016, also in Boulder.

  • News series “Fault Lines of Faith” to screen in Washington, D.C.

    The Bureau for International Reporting will host two screenings of “Fault Lines of Faith: Reporting from Myanmar, Bosnia and Northern Ireland” in Washington D.C. this February, the first on February 5th at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the second on February 10th at George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs. Part of a series created for PBS NewsHour, "Fault Lines of Faith" features recent reporting from Myanmar, where greater levels of political freedom have given rise to strife between Buddhist nationalists and the country’s Muslim minority. Comparing these events to religious tension in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, reporters Kira Kay and Jason Maloney explore how sectarian conflict often has origins in long-term political marginalization and in questions of national identity. The Bureau of International Reporting received a two-year grant from the Luce Foundation in 2011 for reporting on religion and international affairs.
       (Courtesy of Human Rights Watch)

  • Two Luce grant recipients report on religious controversy in Egypt

    Luce Foundation grantee Public Radio International (PRI) has featured a piece this week by a fellow Luce grantee, Faith Matters, covering efforts by the Egyptian government to control the country’s small, private mosques. The broadcast details how Egypt’s minister of Religious Affairs has revoked the preaching licenses of tens of thousands of imams, requiring that all licensed imams be graduates of the historic university Al-Azhar. Commentators speculate that the regulations are politically minded, since Al-Azhar, like the military-backed government, opposes the Muslim Brotherhood. Faith Matters received a three-year grant from the Luce Foundation in 2013 for its radio magazine, Interfaith Voices; Public Radio International’s program “The World” received a three-year grant in 2011 to increase coverage of religion and international affairs.

  • Natasja Sheriff receives the Investigative Fund’s Stone Award

    Natasja Sheriff, a Luce Research Fellow at the NYU Center for Religion and Media, has been selected to receive the Investigative Fund’s Stone Award for emerging journalists. The Investigative Fund, an organization devoted to improving the scope and quality of American investigative reporting, will provide funding and editorial guidance for Sheriff as she develops a story on U.S. mining regulations. Sheriff, who serves as the international editor at The Revealer, presented a paper on the rise of independent news coverage in Malaysia at NYU’s “Religion in the Digital Age” conference earlier this year. The Center for Religion and Media received a two-year grant from the Luce Foundation in 2011.

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    Religion & International Affairs News Archives