Religion and the Public SphereHave you ever paid attention to how many issues in the news have religious elements? If you picked up a newspaper, how often would there be explicit or implicit reference to religion and /or faith? When you think about important or contentious issues in the public sphere, does religion come up? In this section, discussion will turn to the question of the influence and importance of religion to public matters. Topics of discussion may include: the influence of religion on the assessment of human rights; the assumptions of faith in the push for democratization; the connections between violence, war and faith; the importance of religion to peace making and world charity; the religious underpinnings and implications of environmentalism; the status of women as it relates to religion; the relationship between religion and science; and the impact of global interreligious and /or ecumenical discussion. This interactive discussion will be over lunch and will be let by various members of the University faculty and staff.