November 1, 2004

Liberty and Power: A Dialogue on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy in an Unjust World

Bryan Hehir, Michael Walzer, Charles Krauthammer, Louise Richardson, and Shibley Telhami

Pew Forum Dialogues on Religion & Public Life
E.J. Dionne Jr., Jean Bethke Elshtain, Kayla Drogosz, Series Editors

Executive Summary (.pdf)

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How a nation “commits itself to freedom” has long been at the heart of debates about foreign aid, economic sanctions, and military intervention. Moral and faith traditions have much to say about what is required to achieve this end. And after September 11, no one can doubt the importance of religious beliefs in influencing relations among peoples and nations.

Can religious convictions promote a more moral foreign policy? Do they lead to fanaticism, or do they encourage a new realism about the forces shaping the choices confronting the United States?

The contributors to this volume come at the issue from very different perspectives and offer exceptional and unexpected insights on a question now at the forefront of American foreign policy.

Father Bryan Hehir is president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA and a professor of ethics and international affairs at Georgetown.

Michael Walzer is a professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

Charles Krauthammer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group.

Louise Richardson is executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Shibley Telhami is a non-resident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution and Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland.

The Dialogues are short volumes, published jointly by the Pew Forum and the Brookings Institution, that bring together the voices of scholars, journalists and activists engaged simultaneously in the religious and policy realms. These books will appeal to public policy specialists, university students, clergy, lay leaders, seminarians, members of religious congregations, and active citizens who regularly join in dialogue on public matters. Each volume is introduced by the series editors and consists of counterpoint essays, responses to each essay, and concluding reflections on current policy debates.