The Rumi Forum presented “Religion in World Affairs: Its Role in Conflict and Peace” with David Smock, Vice President of the U.S. Institute of Peace and director of the Religion and Peacemaking Program
No major religion has been exempt from complicity in violent conflict. Yet we need to beware of an almost universal propensity to oversimplify the role that religion plays in international affairs. Religion is not usually the sole or even primary cause of conflict. With so much emphasis on religion as a source of conflict, the role of religion as a force in peacemaking is usually overlooked. Religious leaders and institutions can mediate in conflict situations, serve as communication links between opposing sides, and organize interfaith dialogue.
David Smock is Vice President of the U.S. Institute of Peace and director of the Religion and Peacemaking Program. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and a Master of Divinity degree. He is author or editor of ten books.
Father Francis V. Tiso is associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he serves as liaison to Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Sikhs, and Traditional religions as well as the Reformed confessions. Before coming to the USCCB, Father Tiso was assigned to the Archdiocese of San Francisco where he served as Parochial Vicar of St. Thomas More Church and Chaplain at San Francisco State University and the University of California Medical School. He was also Visiting Professor in the archdiocesan School of Pastoral Leadership, where he taught courses in Foundational Theology. He was also Parochial Vicar in Eureka, CA and in Mill Valley, CA.