The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs The center promotes scholarship & dialogue at the intersection of religion, ethics & global issues.

The Berkley Center is at the heart of a university-wide effort to make Georgetown a global leader in the interdisciplinary study of religion and the advancement of interreligious understanding.

Global Interfaith Monitor No. 19 -
01/10/2024

Global Interfaith Monitor No. 19 -

  The last few months of the Gregorian calendar year are punctuated with globally celebrated religious and cultural holi...
01/10/2024

The last few months of the Gregorian calendar year are punctuated with globally celebrated religious and cultural holidays. Although not everyone around the world celebrates in the same way, the holiday season offers a time of global reflection, anticipation, and hope for the coming new year.

How do communities learn from each other through holiday celebrations? To what extent do higher education institutions play a role in this? How can we build an inclusive global community while honoring and respecting religious and cultural diversity?

Read more on the Berkley Forum:

The last few months of the Gregorian calendar year are punctuated with globally celebrated religious and cultural holidays. Although not everyone around the world celebrates in the same way, the holiday season offers a time of global reflection, anticipation, and hope for the coming new year.

A new Georgetown University Press volume edited by Senior Fellow José Casanova and Faculty Fellow Peter Phan identifies ...
01/08/2024

A new Georgetown University Press volume edited by Senior Fellow José Casanova and Faculty Fellow Peter Phan identifies three distinct phases in the development of Catholicism in Asia and Oceania, approaching the historical processes of globalization not as structural agencies or causal forces, but rather as the historical contexts that condition possibilities for human action and reaction in the world.

https://press.georgetown.edu/Book/Asian-Pacific-Catholicism-and-Globalization

Senior Fellow Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., is quoted in Senior Research Fellow E.J. Dionne's Christmas reflection."At th...
01/02/2024

Senior Fellow Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., is quoted in Senior Research Fellow E.J. Dionne's Christmas reflection.

"At their best, the dueling [religious and secular] sides operated within the 'intellectual solidarity' that Jesuit thinker David Hollenbach recommends. It’s a term I love because it implies a certain humility (we all have a lot to learn from each other), a shared quest to get as close to the truth as we can and an acknowledgment that doing so is a communal project."

Religious and secular people have much to teach each other.

From book talks to conferences to panel discussions, we’ve hosted a lot of speakers this year. You can check out dozens ...
12/31/2023

From book talks to conferences to panel discussions, we’ve hosted a lot of speakers this year. You can check out dozens of videos from 2023’s events on our YouTube channel.

Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of religion and the promotion of in...

Happy Kwanzaa to all who are celebrating!
12/26/2023

Happy Kwanzaa to all who are celebrating!

Merry Christmas from the Berkley Center!
12/25/2023

Merry Christmas from the Berkley Center!

In Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education Magazine Senior Research Fellow Amy Uelmen reflects on Jesuit higher educati...
12/22/2023

In Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education Magazine Senior Research Fellow Amy Uelmen reflects on Jesuit higher education and says exterior demands often overwhelm the capacity to ask deeper questions in a university educational setting.

By David Quigley, Joseph G. Marina, S.J., and Amelia J. Uelmen

Holidays as Times for Peace | Refugees and Forced Displacement | Is Our Conscience Revolted?: December Newsletter -
12/21/2023

Holidays as Times for Peace | Refugees and Forced Displacement | Is Our Conscience Revolted?: December Newsletter -

A new series from the Berkley Forum explores how holidays contribute to community-building, goodwill, and peaceful encounters between different social and religious groups. In what ways do holidays nurture peace across cultures? Are there historical examples where holiday observance resulted in a br...

12/19/2023

Senior Fellow Jocelyne Cesari received an honorable mention for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion 2023 Distinguished Book Award for her book We God's People: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in the World of Nations (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Purpose: To recognize the most outstanding book published by a SSSR member or members within the past two years (imprint copyright publication date of 2022 or 2023).

The leading religious traditions share the value of hospitality and the imperative to aid refugees. In practice, however...
12/15/2023

The leading religious traditions share the value of hospitality and the imperative to aid refugees. In practice, however, religious adherents are often divided on how to balance the rights of refugees against the interests of host communities and political demands.

Our December 19 webinar will explore how various religious traditions are navigating the global refugee crisis and charting a way forward despite often deep differences in how to respond to displaced persons, the kind of engaged dialogue across difference Pope Francis calls a culture of encounter.

Details & RSVP:

During this webinar, participants will discuss the roles religious groups are playing in responding to the refugee crisis and begin to map out the challenges these groups face in their work.

Global Interfaith Monitor No. 18 -
12/13/2023

Global Interfaith Monitor No. 18 -

Happy   to all who are celebrating this week!
12/08/2023

Happy to all who are celebrating this week!

“A central objective, which comes through communications about both the Synod and the Summit, is the desire to ensure th...
12/07/2023

“A central objective, which comes through communications about both the Synod and the Summit, is the desire to ensure that all feel heard and included.”

On the Berkley Forum Katherine Marshall, senior fellow at the Berkley Center of Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and professor of the practice of development, conflict, and religion at the School of Foreign Service - Georgetown University, discusses the similarities between the Catholic Church's Synod on Synodality and the United Nations Summit of the Future in attempting to engage and capture wide-ranging voices.

Katherine Marshall explores the parallels between the Catholic Church's October 2023 Synod and the announcement of the United Nation's September 2024 Summit of the Future. She observes how both events reflect a new understanding of voice, engagement, and community.

“Through the dialogue taking place among participants from around the world, the Synod will gain insight into how the in...
12/06/2023

“Through the dialogue taking place among participants from around the world, the Synod will gain insight into how the institutions that extend well beyond the Church itself might be transformed.”

On the Berkley Forum Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University, discusses the importance of dialogue within the Catholic Church’s Synod of Synodality for transforming the institutions of the Church and society.

Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., discusses how the October 2023 Synod in dialogue might help promote greater dialogue and harmonious interaction both within the Catholic Church and in the larger world.

“This Synod on Synodality calls for a metanoia—a change of heart and mindset, worldview, and models of governing institu...
12/05/2023

“This Synod on Synodality calls for a metanoia—a change of heart and mindset, worldview, and models of governing institutions.”

On the Berkley Forum Evelyn Monteiro, co-founder of Ecclesia of Women in Asia and vice president of the Indian Theologians Association, discusses the need for the Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality to move past mere dialogue and create real change internally and externally.

Evelyn Monteiro argues that every member of the Catholic Church has a responsibility to contribute towards a human-cosmic communion through dialogues, encounters, and social friendships.

“For Francis, it is not just our divisions that are the problem; it is also unwillingness to confront them openly and ho...
12/04/2023

“For Francis, it is not just our divisions that are the problem; it is also unwillingness to confront them openly and honestly.”

On the Berkley Forum Thomas Banchoff, director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and vice president for global engagement at Georgetown University, discusses the pope’s vision of the Synod on Synodality as a platform for confronting divisions and maintaining a dynamic unity amid differences within the global Catholic Church.

Thomas Banchoff discusses Pope Francis' openness to the "art of encounter" in the Catholic Church in the context of the October 2023 Synod.

“​​The necessity to listen to one another, to encounter one another, is at the heart of Pope Francis’ vision for this Sy...
12/03/2023

“​​The necessity to listen to one another, to encounter one another, is at the heart of Pope Francis’ vision for this Synod and the one that will follow next year.”

On the Berkley Forum Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., senior research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, discusses the importance of dialogue and rediscovering the traditions of encounter within the Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality.

Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., discusses how Pope Francis’ "synodal path" and vision of creating a “culture of encounter” that values and listens to the other is far from a radical departure from Catholic tradition but is in reality a restoration and rediscovery of a tradition long ignored.

“The preeminent goal of the Synod is participatory practice in being a ‘listening Church,’ which is an essential element...
12/02/2023

“The preeminent goal of the Synod is participatory practice in being a ‘listening Church,’ which is an essential element of dialogue that leads to vibrant and life-giving faith communities.”

On the Berkley Forum Julia McStravog, senior advisor for the Synod on Synodality at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, discusses the goals of the Catholic Church’s Synod and how synodal dialogue can help in addressing wounds and failures in and of the Church.

Julia McStravog discusses how the October 2023 Synod session aims to amplify the theological clarity and the pastoral orientations needed for a Catholic Church that is truly in dialogue with God, with itself, and with others.

“With this Synod, the Church is seeking a way to proclaim its message anew in a rapidly changing world that has trouble ...
12/01/2023

“With this Synod, the Church is seeking a way to proclaim its message anew in a rapidly changing world that has trouble making sense of its teachings.”

On the Berkley Forum Paul Heck, professor of Islamic studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University, discusses the Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality and its goal of renewing the way the Church is to gaze at the world.

Paul Heck argues that synodality is not a call for the Church to be naïve about the world, but it is a call for us to be on guard against the temptations of conformism.

Pankaj Mishra on the Global South | A Journalist’s Experience as a Stateless Refugee | Geopolitics and Orthodox Christia...
11/30/2023

Pankaj Mishra on the Global South | A Journalist’s Experience as a Stateless Refugee | Geopolitics and Orthodox Christianity: November Newsletter -

For more than a century, thinkers of the non-Western world have explored the seeds of an alternative global modernity. Yet the West retains its intellectual hegemony, and we remain far away from what Pope Francis calls the "culture of encounter"—from "seeking point of contact [and] building bridg...

“This interfaith dialogue serves as a powerful antidote to religiously fueled conflicts, fostering understanding, tolera...
11/30/2023

“This interfaith dialogue serves as a powerful antidote to religiously fueled conflicts, fostering understanding, tolerance, and collaboration.”

On the Berkley Forum Jocelyn Cesari, senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and an associate professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University, discusses the emphasis placed on interfaith dialogue within the Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality and its potential for transforming the Church and society.

Jocelyne Cesari examines how by navigating the complexities of faith and politics, the October 2023 Synod contributes to the ongoing narrative of shaping a world where diverse religious traditions publicly commit to social justice and human dignity.

“Reforming and rebuilding the Church is an inside job, not dependent on changing externals, but changing our hearts and ...
11/29/2023

“Reforming and rebuilding the Church is an inside job, not dependent on changing externals, but changing our hearts and perspectives from the inside out.”

On the Berkley Forum Maryann Cusimano Love, professor of international relations at The Catholic University of America, discusses the goals of the Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality and the internal work necessary for effecting change.

Maryann Cusimano Love explores the applications of St. Francis of Assisi's teachings, just peace, and the culture of encounter in the context of the October 2023 Synod gathering.

“The listening spaces fostered by synodality are settings in which true judgements about important moral and spiritual i...
11/28/2023

“The listening spaces fostered by synodality are settings in which true judgements about important moral and spiritual issues have a chance to be heard and to shape collective action.”

On the Berkley Forum Andrew Prevot, senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University, discusses the significance of the Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality in fostering a dialogue that has the potential to lead to collective action.

Andrew Prevot explores the spirituality of listening that is present in the October 2023 Synod in Rome, and how this gathering's purpose is not to abandon truth but to pursue it with fresh energy.

  The Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality, a multi-year process of listening and dialogue that began in October 2021, ...
11/27/2023

The Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality, a multi-year process of listening and dialogue that began in October 2021, centers on the themes of communion, participation, and mission, and highlights Pope Francis’ call to practice “the art of encounter.” The Synod that gathered in Rome this October saw more than 300 delegates engaging in a month-long discussion of contentious questions within the Church.

On the Berkley Forum contributors weigh in on these divisions within the global Catholic Church and the ways in which the synodal process can address these divisions in practice.

Read the series: https://ow.ly/MpXe50QawaS

Senior Research Fellow Judd Birdsall was quoted in a Science News Magazine article on the longevity of the   narrative a...
11/23/2023

Senior Research Fellow Judd Birdsall was quoted in a Science News Magazine article on the longevity of the narrative and how memory often favors a tidy narrative over the messier reality of history.

The science of collective memory — and a desire for clear origin stories — may explain the endurance of the Thanksgiving myth despite a messier reality.

In November 2021, panelists in our webinar “Who Belongs at the Thanksgiving Table? Immigration, Religion, and the Four-H...
11/23/2023

In November 2021, panelists in our webinar “Who Belongs at the Thanksgiving Table? Immigration, Religion, and the Four-Hundredth Anniversary of the First Thanksgiving" discussed the contested legacy of the “first Thanksgiving” of 1621, modeled deep appreciation for the past in combination with constructive self-critique, and generated insight on the implications for contemporary issues of national identity, pluralism, civic solidarity, and immigration. This event was co-sponsored with the Georgetown University History Department.

Watch the video of their conversation:

For more on this event, visit: https://bit.ly/30Se4F5For more on the Berkley Center, visit: https://berkleycenter.georgetown.eduNovember 17, 2021 | The four-...

Our November 29 webinar will feature Elizabeth Prodromou (Boston College discussing her new Transatlantic Policy Network...
11/22/2023

Our November 29 webinar will feature Elizabeth Prodromou (Boston College discussing her new Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion & Diplomacy policy brief examining the role and impact of Orthodox Churches in contemporary geopolitics.

Get the details and RSVP on our website:

This event will feature Elizabeth Prodromou, the author of a new policy brief commissioned by the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion & Diplomacy (TPNRD).

  🎥💻👀 Check out our website to watch the October 18 conversation between author Arinze Ifeakandu, who read from his accl...
11/14/2023

🎥💻👀 Check out our website to watch the October 18 conversation between author Arinze Ifeakandu, who read from his acclaimed first book, "God's Children Are Little Broken Things" (2022), and discussed fiction, faith, sexuality, and present-day Nigeria with Berkley Center Senior Fellow Paul Elie.

Arinze Ifeakandu read from his acclaimed first book, "God's Children Are Little Broken Things" (2022), and will discuss fiction, faith, sexuality, and the present-day Nigeria that is the setting of many of his stories.

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