Shaun Casey on Diplomacy and Hope

In a new episode of NetVUE’s podcast series Callings, hosts Erin VanLaningham and John Barton speak with Shaun Casey, founding director of the Office of Religion and Global Affairs at the U.S. State Department.

Shaun’s work explores the overlapping concerns of religion, diplomacy, and public life. Trained as a theologian with an interest in public policy, Shaun held multiple academic positions before he was called to his work at the U.S. State Department by Secretary of State John Kerry. “I want to be a faithful disciple,” he says, “wherever I end up.”

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‘Islam and the Future of Tolerance’ and ‘Not in God’s Name’

In the November 8, 2015, New York Times Sunday Book Review, Sacks Not in God's Name Irshad Manji reviews

Why recommend this book review, and the books themselves, to those interested in “vocation matters”? Because some in higher education may shy away from even secularized versions of religious discernment and vocationHarris and Nawaz, Islam and the future of toleranceal language because of the connection they see between religion and violence, tout court.

Manji and the authors she reviews can offer helpful nuance and useful perspectives to deploy when the (often exaggerated) religion-violence linkage surfaces in a counseling situation or collegial conversation.

Those wishing to plumb the questions further may be particularly interested in another book on the topic of religion and violence, published a few years back. Its author, William T. Cavanaugh, is a member of the NetVUE Scholarly Resources Project and one of the contributors to the Project’s first volume of essays.  Cavanaugh’s book is titled The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).  For another (more popular) take on the topic, see Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (New York: Penguin Random House, 2014).