God, Globalization, and the Good Society in Asia Today

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October 1, 2014

Cyndi McMahon

WENHAM, MA—The Center for Faith and Inquiry is pleased to host a one-day conference, “God, Globalization, and the Good Society in Asia Today,” at Gordon College on Monday, October 20, 2014. Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, will give the conference keynote address.

“Asia is the most religiously diverse region in the world, and as globalization advances this pluralism will only grow deeper and more dynamic,” said Dennis Hoover, vice president for research and publications at the Institute for Global
Engagement. “Asian governments often see religion as ‘part of the problem’ when it comes to social stability and social well-being—but this conference will explore the many ways in which religion is actually an essential part of any sustainable solution to these challenges.”

Grim is a leading expert on international religious freedom and the socioeconomic impact of restrictions on religious freedom, and an expert on international religious demography and religion-related violence. He is an associate scholar at the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Grim is also an affiliated scholar at the Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs at Boston University.

Prior to becoming the Foundation’ s president in 2014, Grimm directed the largest social science effort to collect and analyze global data on religion through the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. He also worked for two decades as an educator, researcher and development coordinator in China, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the former Soviety Union.

Grim is an author of The Price of Freedom Denied, considered the seminal work showing the dire consequences of denying religious freedom. He has written dozens of research articles and several academic books on global religion as well as being the author of the Weekly Number Blog. He has appeared as an expert on topics pertaining to global religion for numerous media outlets (including CNN, BBC, Fox, CBS and C-SPAN) and regularly presents to audiences throughout the world including presentations at the White House, State Department, European Parliament, and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The conference will feature a variety of international speakers and participants, including:
Xiaoli Wang, deputy director, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences in Beijing
Fenggang Yang, president, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
James Chen, vice president, Institute for Global Engagement (IGE)
Paul Y. Chang, professor and Executive Committee member, Korea Institute (Harvard University)
Diane Obenchain, director of the China Program at Fuller Theological Seminary
Robert Weller, BU professor, and research associate at the Institute on Religion, Culture, and World Affairs

The online schedule for the conference includes information about the speakers, session titles, locations and times. The conference is sponsored by The Review of Faith & International Affairs at the Institute for Global Engagement and the Center for Faith and Inquiry at Gordon College. It is free and open to the public.

For information on “God, Globalization, and the Good Society in Asia Today,” contact Susanne McCarron, program coordinator, Center for Faith and Inquiry, at [email protected] or 978.867.4365.


 Gordon College is a multi-denominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 38 fields with graduate programs in education and music education.
Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu