The Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law & Diplomacy (FletcherRLD), a student-run organization at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, hosted its fall conference, entitled “Approaching Religious Literacy in International Affairs,” on Nov. 3.
The conference was framed around the question, “How do you train a diplomat, a businesswoman, or a soldier to be an effective & transformational leader in a religiously pluralistic world?” with a goal to introduce graduate students and the Fletcher community to the importance of religious literacy, according to its website.
Clare Gooding, a second-year master of international business student and co-chair of FletcherRLD, elaborated on the conference’s purpose.
“Religious literacy is a core component to working effectively and respectfully in today’s world,” Gooding told the Daily in an email. “FletcherRLD wanted to bring speakers who could begin to break open the intersection of religion with the core disciplines of Fletcher students: International Business, Security Operations, Humanitarian Response & Conflict Resolution.”
James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School, opened the conference, followed by an introduction to religious literacy from Diane Moore, founding director of the Religious Literacy Project at the Harvard Divinity School.
The conference included three panels discussing the relationship of religious literacy to security operations, international business and conflict resolutions, using case studies of the Balkans, global business operations and modern Yemen, respectively. The panelists included professors from the Fletcher School, other universities and representatives from non-governmental organizations.
Preceding his keynote address, CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Sean Callahan (F ’88) was awarded the Dean’s Medal by Stavridis. Stavridis said that this award is given once or twice per year, and fewer than 40 have been awarded to date.
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