LISD convened the conference, “Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations," July 11-13, 2008 in Vienna, Austria. The meeting was the capstone event of the inaugural year of LISD’s Program on Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations (PORDIR). Participation in the event was by invitation only and it was co-sponsored by the Liechtenstein Institute in Vienna (LIVA).
LISD created the Program on Religion, Diplomacy and International relations in 2007 in response to the undeniable role religion is playing in interstate and intrastate conflicts and aspects of international affairs in the twenty-first century. The program offers students and faculty at Princeton University the opportunity to study, reflect and generate ideas concerning the multiple intersections of religion, diplomacy and international relations. The project currently includes a student fellowship program, weekly seminar series, and public lecture series. The program is co-directed by Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and The Rev. Paul Raushenbush, Associate Dean of Religious Life at Princeton University.
The objective of the Vienna conference was to explore the influence of religion and religious beliefs in the conduct of international diplomacy, power politics, crisis and conflict management, and other activities of state and non-state actors. This meeting brought religious leaders, diplomatic practitioners and academics from the US, Europe and the Middle East into conversation with one another and selected representatives of the successor generation. There were panels examining the interplay between religion and diplomacy from these three perspectives.
A key ambition of the colloquium was to introduce this complex issue and challenge to the next generation of diplomats and scholars. To that end the cohort of LISD’s 2007-2008 PORDIR fellows participated in the colloquium and offered presentations in a special session.