Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations (PORDIR)
PORDIR explores the influence of religion, religious beliefs, and spirituality on the theory and practice of diplomacy and relations within the global actors' system. It invites and encourages the selected fellows to research and understand issues related to foreign relations, socio-economic, and political dimensions in view of values and perspectives based on religious or spiritual ideas and ideals. There is a specific focus on inter-gender and inter-generational relations, intercultural aspects, socio-economic dimensions, conflict management, and means and strategies to anticipate and/or reduce crises and tensions. The project supports a year-long student fellowship of about 15 graduate and undergraduate students who meet weekly and conduct independent, intellectually rigorous research and writing. The end of the academic year typically finds colloquium participants abroad - conditions permitting - presenting their papers to an international audience
PORDIR explores the influence of religion and religious beliefs and spirituality on theory and practices of international diplomacy and on the global actors’ system. Co-founded in 2006 by Prof. Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the year-long weekly seminar will draw on nearly two decades worth of success, providing a space for students, scholars, community, national, and spiritual leaders to discuss pressing issues of our intense time. This year, the theme will be Human Security, Resilience, and Technology – Tackling Challenges for Gender & Generational Policies and Technology. The 2021-2022 PORDIR will be co-chaired with Prof. Katherine Marshall of Georgetown University and Vice President of the G20 Interfaith Association.
The objective of the PORDIR seminar is to explore the influence of spirituality and religion on the theory and practice of foreign relations between state and non-state actors. We encourage our fellows to research, analyze, and explore issues through the prism of the spiritual ideas and values of the world’s great religions or secular ideas. A sample of the last year’s PORDIR seminar topics includes pathways into terrorism, public health and religious law, populist conspiracies, generational interpretations of religious norms, environmental stewardship, and the ethics of drone warfare. Participants will hear speakers from many distinct religious traditions, career paths, communal, political and ideological perspectives, industry, and the military.
The annual project supports a student fellowship of about 15 graduate and undergraduate students who meet weekly to conduct independent and intellectually rigorous research. The year culminates in a written essay of approximately 4,000 words that will be presented abroad. Previous PORDIR colloquiums have been held internationally: including Rome, Jerusalem, Lisbon, and Vienna. In the summer of 2021, the seminar concluded with a hybrid video-link conference in the hallowed library of the Abbey of St. Florian, Austria, as it celebrated its 950th Anniversary. Conditions permitting, the summer of 2022 will return to the normal seminar cycle with the colloquium held in a major city abroad.
Now entering its 15th year, this PORDIR seminar has the objective of fostering an interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and inter-cultural and -religious exchange among students, scholars, and policy practitioners of different ages and races and contributing to a meaningful discussion on critical global issues as they develop within the G20 Inter-Faith Agenda.
Applications for the 2021-2022 PORDIR Fellowships are due by October 9, 2021