Episode 116

Practical Interfaith Engagement with Peter Henne


April 29th, 2024

36 mins 23 secs

Season 9

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Special Guest

About this Episode

In this interview, Peter Henne discusses his academic work on religion and conflict. He talks about his early involvement with the Pew Research Center's groundbreaking work on quantifying religious persecution globally. Henne reflects on the challenges of engaging with religion from a policy perspective, emphasizing the need for religious literacy and humble, small-scale initiatives rather than grand efforts. He shares insights from his book on how states often fail when trying to use religion as a foreign policy tool. Additionally, Henne explores the role of interfaith dialogue, track-two diplomacy, and countering extremism through addressing underlying economic and social issues. Henne advocates for a realistic yet optimistic approach that recognizes the complexities of religious conflict while seeking practical solutions.

Peter S. Henne is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Middle East Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences in the University of Vermont. His research focuses on religion and politics, with an emphasis on conflict and foreign policy. He is currently exploring how religion can be used as a tool in peacebuilding. He is the author of Religious Appeals in Power Politics (Cornell University Press, 2023) and Islamic Politics, Muslim States and Counterterrorism Tensions (Cambridge University Press, 2017), as well as numerous scholarly and popular articles. He received his PhD in Government from Georgetown University and BA in Political Science from Vassar College. He is a native of Philadelphia, PA.

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