Yale and Tony Blair Launch Faith and Globalization Initiative

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will teach his first class at Yale on September 19, marking the start of the “Faith and Globalization Initiative,” a three-year collaboration among Yale’s Divinity School, School of Management and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

The potential of religious faith to bring the world’s people together rather than drive them apart will be explored through the seminar and made available to a world audience through a multi-media website (http://faithandglobalization.yale.edu).

“Global interdependence is a reality and faith is inextricably linked to that interdependence,” said Mr. Blair. “As we have seen, faith can be a source of division and destruction, but faith can also be a source of reconciliation, not conflict.”

Mr. Blair, who has been appointed a Howland Distinguished Fellow, will co-teach the seminar with Professor Miroslav Volf, the director of the Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture.

In addition to sharing resources from the seminar, the Faith and Globalization Initiative’s website will feature additional content to expand the conversation about religion and globalization. The website will offer video introductions by the courses co-leaders, as well as video interviews, netcasts and articles by Yale faculty, guest lecturers and other experts. It also will feature links to external resources that can add to an understanding of faith and globalization issues. The site will be continually updated with new content as the initiative evolves over the next three years.

“The Yale Faith and Globalization Initiative offers our students the perspective of a world leader on the impact of faith on politics,” said President Richard C. Levin. “The website provides an open resource for anyone beyond our campus who is interested in how religious values can be channeled toward reconciliation, rather than polarization.”

The Faith and Globalization seminar has been organized by Yale’s Divinity School, led by Dean Harold Attridge, and the School of Management (SOM), headed by Dean Joel Podolny, who will be a guest lecturer. Yale faculty members and Mr. Blair started meeting in February to begin planning for the course. SOM’s innovative case studies approach to teaching and learning are integral to the course’s instruction. Twenty-five students, including six undergraduates, were selected for the course.

In the future, in addition to the seminar and the website, the Yale Faith and Globalization Initiative will sponsor a range of activities that include formal lectures and informal conversations, conferences and research projects.