Stein Villumstad, deputy secretary general of the International Conference of Religions for Peace, discussed “Religion as a Missing Link to Diplomacy” in a talk co-sponsored by the WCSU International Center, the Honors Program and the Newman Center. Villumstad also served as a guest lecturer in a class on international institutions taught by Dr. Christopher Kukk, associate professor of political science.
“He offers a different perspective,” said Kukk. “Religion in modern-day international relations is, more often than not, looked at as a stumbling block toward diplomacy.”
Villumstad is affiliated with Religions for Peace, the largest international coalition of representatives from the world’s great religions dedicated to preserving humanity, stopping hunger and ending poverty. The organization’s recent successes include building a new climate of reconciliation in Iraq, mediating dialogue among warring factions in Sierra Leone, organizing an international network of religious women’s organizations and establishing a program to assist the millions of children affected by Africa’s AIDS pandemic.