New report spells out the need for 'religious literacy'

By staff writers
January 6, 2015

The chair of an All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Uncertainties has praised a new report which recommends steps to improve religious literacy in a diverse world.

Public discourse around religion and security is "prone to quick summaries and unhelpful simplifications," claims John Glen MP.

The report, produced by the Open University and the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research in association with Lapido Media, is entitled Religion, Security and Global Uncertainties.

It will be launched today (Tuesday 6 January 2015) at an event in Portcullis House, Westminster, chaired by Caroline Wyatt, the BBC's new Religion Correspondent.

Speakers include Tom Holland (historian and classicist), Professor Grace Davie (Exeter University), Dr Mustafa Baig (Research Fellow, Islamics Reformulation Programme, Exeter University) and Betsy Hiel (Cairo-based foreign correspondent of the Pittsburgh Tribune, USA).

The meeting in London has been billed as part of a national conversation on 'getting religion'. It is hosted by John Glen MP (Conservative) and Dai Havard, MP (Labour) on behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Uncertainties (APPGGU).

The APPGGU examines the relationship between religion and security, including terrorism and what is deemed ‘religious violence’.

It has two key objectives. The first is to provide guidance on identifying circumstances in which religion (either on its own or in combination with other factors) is likely to give rise to security challenges.

The second is to ensure a constructive interrogation of some underexplored assumptions relating to religion and security.

The new report, say its authors, is informed by research conducted between October 2013 and January 2014, which included a series of interviews with academic researchers and roundtable discussions with MPs, public policy officers, journalists, church ministers, school head teachers and representatives of faith communities, local community organisations and NGOs.

* Executive summary and recommendations (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document): http://www.open.ac.uk/arts/research/religion-martyrdom-global-uncertaint...

* Full report (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document): http://www.open.ac.uk/arts/research/religion-martyrdom-global-uncertaint...

[Ekk/3]

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