By Katherine Kerr
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 11) — The theme of “religious literacy” was described at a high level during the April 11 keynote speech by Shaun Casey, U.S. Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs in the State Department.
The professor of Christian ethics on leave from Wesley Theological Seminary talked about how his department within the State Department is building a repository of knowledge about the impact of faith and religion in foreign affairs.
When his work at the State Department began in 2013, he discovered that there was very little religious engagement occurring between U.S. field officers in more than 200 posts around the country. Since then, his department has created a model that includes training for field staff to have a clearer understanding about who the religious and faith leaders are in the countries to which they are assigned and how religion affects the political, social and economic landscapes in those regions.