In conjunction with the Council’s work on religion and international affairs, the SSRC hosted an international workshop on “Religion, Peacebuilding, and Development in Mindanao” May 17–18. The event gathered scholars and peacebuilders from the United States, Mindanao, Japan, and Indonesia. The workshop fostered two days of discussion centered on the extent to which religion figures as a cause of conflict as well as a source of peace and development on the island; the politics of peacebuilding and development, particularly in relation to political dynamics in Manila; and comparative questions concerning how lessons learned in the continuing struggle for peace and economic advancement in Mindanao can be utilized in other areas of conflict in the region and across the globe.
May 19–20, in collaboration with the Henry Luce Foundation, the SSRC convened over thirty leaders of ongoing and recently concluded projects supported by the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs for a conference on the present state of the field. Participants represented a broad spectrum of institutions, from major universities to international nongovernmental organizations to widely recognized public affairs media outlets. The conference was organized around an extensive and multifocal set of thematic areas and operational concerns; it also provided a unique opportunity to forge new relationships while extending and reinforcing existing networks among scholars and practitioners working at the crossroads of religion and international affairs.