2008 Conference Program


The 21st Annual Camden Conference, Religion as a Force in World Affairs, was held February 22-24, 2008.

For the first time, the World Affairs Council of Maine and the Camden Conference offered a live presentation of the Camden Conference at the Hannaford Auditorium in Portland.

The Conference explored the role of religion as a potent influence upon the formation and the implementation of foreign policy—especially the shaping of foreign policy in the United States—as a crucial factor in ongoing conflicts and crisis settings; as a central component in the deepening clash between self-identities in various movements and communities; and as potential stimulus for mediation, peace-making, and constructive social action.

The program was as follows:

Friday, February 22:

  • Keynote Address: Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Kennedy School, Harvard University “Religion, World Politics, and United States Foreign Policy”

Saturday, February 23:

Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy

  • Andrew Preston, Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, England “A Look Back at Religious Influences on American Foreign Relations”
  • Scott Appleby, Professor of History and Director of the Kroc Center, Notre Dame University “The Role of Fundamentalists in Recent U.S. Foreign Policy”
  • Andrew Natsios, Professor at Georgetown University, former head of A.I.D., President’s Special Envoy to Sudan “The Influence of Religion in American Diplomacy and Development Policies”

Religion and the Middle East

  • Philip C. Wilcox Jr., President, Foundation for Middle East Peace “Religious Identities in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”
  • Rend al-Rahim Francke, President, Iraq Foundation, currently at U.S. Institute of Peace “The Clash Between Sunni and Shia Muslims Across the Middle East”
  • Ellen Laipson, President, Henry L. Stimson Center “The Struggle Between Modern Governance and Resurgent Islam”

Sunday, February 24

Global Issues

  • Katherine Marshall, Professor at Georgetown University, formerly with the World Bank “Religious and Ethical Challenges in Seeking Global Social Justice”
  • Douglas M. Johnston, President, International Institute for Religion and Diplomacy “Faith-Based Diplomacy: Bridging the Religious Divide”

The moderator for the 2008 Camden Conference was Graham Phaup, Executive Director, Institute for Global Ethics.