PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Boston, MA
November 18-21, 2017

2017 Annual Meeting Program (PDF)

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Preliminary 2017 Annual Meeting Program (MS Word)

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Public Understanding of Religion Committee
Theme: Back From the Front Lines of Diplomacy: A Religion Scholar Reflects on the Role of Religion Expertise in US Foreign Policy
Erik Owens, Boston College, Presiding
Sunday - 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Sheraton Boston-Republic B (Second Level)

From July 2013 through January 2017, Shaun Allen Casey served the U.S. Secretary of State as the Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs and as inaugural Director of the Office of Religion and Global Affairs. The three-fold mission of the office was to advise Secretary Kerry on matters related to religion, to increase the capacity of State Department posts, offices, and bureaus to engage religious actors and assess religious dynamics, and to serve as the contact point for those seeking to understand the intersection of U.S. foreign policy and religion.

The Office of Religion and Global Affairs incorporated the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, the Special Representative to Muslim Communities, and the Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Dr. Casey came to the Department of State after serving as Professor of Christian Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary and working on President Obama’s 2008 campaign staff as part of its religious outreach effort.

He is currently Director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, at Georgetown University and Professor of the Practice in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Dr. Casey has also held positions at the Center for American Progress and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is a former chair of the AAR Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion.

He is the author of The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960 and co-editor, with Michael Kessler, of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Political Theology. Casey holds an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and an M.Div. and doctorate in theology in religion and society from Harvard Divinity School and Bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University.

Elizabeth Dias will serve as interlocutor. As a correspondent for Time, she covers politics and religion. She holds an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. Her newswriting on international concerns involving religion has included stories on the Pope, the Dalai Lama, Sudan, Syria, and other topics.

A related session featuring three AAR-Luce Fellows who each recently completed a year or more of service at the Department of State will take place Sunday, 9:00 am-11:30 am in the Sheraton Boston-Grand & Independence (Second Level).

Shaun Casey, Georgetown University
Elizabeth Dias, TIME Magazine