2019 Barbour Lecture on Religion and Modernity presented by Dr. Shaun Casey

16 January 2019
By Kou Okada '22

Shaun Casey, the former director of the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs, will deliver the 2019 Carleton College Ian Barbour Lecture on Religion and Modernity on Thursday, January 17 from 7 to 8 p.m. in Severance Great Hall. In a talk titled “Competing Conceptions of Religion in American Foreign Policy,” Casey will discuss three interpretations of the proper role of religion in international affairs. This event is free and open to the public.

Under the Obama administration, Casey led the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs. Reporting directly to then-Secretary of State John Kerry, he supervised a staff of 30 experts working at the intersection of religion and American diplomacy. Conventionally, U.S. Foreign Service officers are well-versed in the language, politics, economics and history, but often times vulnerable in the field of religion. Casey worked to increase the capacity of the State Department around the world to sense religious dynamics, and cooperated with diplomats, citizens, NGOs, and government representatives on projects related to peace, conflict resolution, immigration, and climate change.

Currently, Casey is the director of Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University—an academic research center that promotes peace by training a new generation of leaders to understand and address global issues such as peace, poverty, climate change, and human rights. Prior to his role in the State Department, Casey served as a professor at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He has authored books on the ethics of the war in Iraq, as well as the role of religion in American presidential elections. Casey holds an undergraduate degree from Abilene Christian University, a MA in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Master of Divinity and Th.D. in theology from the Harvard Divinity School.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Religion Department, with support from the Ian Barbour Lecture Series. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4232. Severance Great Hall is located on College Street on the Carleton College campus in Northfield, Minn.