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Programs Aim To Increase Study and Research on Faith and Globalization


New Haven, Conn. — In December, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that he would expand the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (TBFF) and the Yale Initiative on Faith and Globalization over the next two years. (See related story:

Future plans include:

• Basing the U.S. operations of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation at Yale University, employing a small team of staff to work across the range of the foundation’s programs and help extend its reach across North America.

• Building a global consortium of universities that will introduce courses on Faith & Globalization and join the conversation worldwide. Initially this will include major universities in Europe and Asia.

• Working with major polling partners to better understand the attitudes of people worldwide to religion and globalization; and develop an annual international student survey, building on the exploratory work done by the Global 21 student network this year.

• Expanding the website created in conjunction with Yale’s Faith and Globalization course to become the go-to site for the issues of faith and globalization. Drawing on the resource materials collected for the course, as well as interviews and comments by the lecturers and guest participants, the TBFF will produce materials for professors.

• Expanding research collaborations, which Blair describes as “one of the most exciting opportunities for our work with Yale.” Toward this end, the Divinity School will co-sponsor several research projects involving the role of “spiritual capital” in global economy, notions of global common good, and Muslim and Christian relations.

• Producing a major book on faith and globalization, and exploring the creation of other publications that can bring these questions to a wider public audience.

• Establishing an international summer internship for students with exchanges between Yale and the TBFF’s offices in London, to engage in collaborative projects both intellectual and practical, which advance our joint agenda.

• Hosting a forum at Yale in 2010 and 2012 for Muslims and Christians, which will allow leaders of these two communities to build on and deepen the impact of the Common Word engagements begun at Yale in the summer of 2008. From 2010 onwards, the forum and dialogue will increase Jewish participation.

• Developing a set of seminars and workshops worldwide that will engage business and policy leaders during the next two years. This will include a high-level international conference of business leaders at Yale next fall that Blair will host with President Richard C. Levin.

• Organizing more joint-teaching sessions by video-conference (such as the one between Yale and the National University of Singapore, held in the fall) with other universities as they take up the Faith and Globalization course to bring a global perspective to the examination of these issues.

• Tackling new areas of research, such as religion, conflict and reconciliation; how religion adapts to globalization; and how globalization can be infused with a stronger sense of values.

• Building on the current collaboration between the Divinity School and the School of Management to increase the cross-disciplinary input to our work and bring expertise from other schools.


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