Faith and Globalisation | Yale University

Seeking to Understand Faith and Globalisation

In an increasingly globalised world, political, economic, and social influences are widely recognised and often well documented. By contrast, the impact of religious faith on such a world is generally far less widely recognised and understood. Yet faith motivates billions of believers around the world in their thoughts, words and actions. The impact of religious faith is therefore likely to be profound, especially in a world where different spheres are increasingly interconnected. It is the Foundation's belief that intelligent and sustained reflection on the crucial issues of faith and globalization can lead to the deeper understanding, and the kind of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence, that will be vital in the 21st century.

As a way of considering these essential questions, the Foundation is working to build a global conversation on them between an elite group of universities around the world over the next eighteen months. The initiative was launched at Yale University in September 2008 with a thirteen week course on faith and globalisation, which Yale will adapt and repeat this year and next. We are now developing the initiative more widely. The National University of Singapore and Durham University in the UK are now each developing their own versions of the course. We are in conversation with a number of other universities, with more to follow. The courses will explore a variety of topics and issues, each from a different global perspective -- in the classroom, in formal lectures and informal conversation, and through research, speeches, conferences, and the internet.

The initial topics listed at the right represent a starting point in the conversation about faith and globalization. Additional areas will be addressed and added to this web site as the initiative takes further shape in the months and years ahead.

Yale's partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation

Taught jointly by former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Professor Miroslav Volf, and hosted in conjunction with the Yale Divinity School and the Yale School of Management, the details of the Faith and Globalisation seminar taught in 2008 are seen on these pages. We will update with Yale's 2009 syllabus as soon as it is available.

Each topic to the right was addressed in the seminar. Readings, other resources, interviews and articles are available by clicking on the individual links.

We will include different versions of the syllabus and course as it develops around the world and is adapted by different universities.

Moving beyond the academy

For the faith and globalisation initiative to be most relevant, it must look beyond the classroom. We are working with religious leaders, politicians, policy makers, business leaders, and civil society in order both to inform the lessons of the academy and to take the lessons of the academy into the wider world.

We will update this page as this work develops.