James Patton

Religion: Healing or Exacerbating Identity Divides?

With Karen Judd Smith

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 @ 10:00 AM Pacific


The Show

Watch the Replay

Originally Aired
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
10:00 AM – 11 AM Pacific


About Our Guest

James Patton is the President and CEO of The International Center for Religion & Diplomacy. He has conducted international development, conflict transformation and social reconciliation for over two decades, building collaborative networks and programs with the entire spectrum of social and political actors in complex conflict environments. His non-governmental experience includes assessing the impact of drug policies in Bolivia, facilitating Cambodian Buddhists’ role in post-conflict stability, coordinating citizen security and conflict transformation efforts in the Andean region, and developing frameworks for training religious actors in countering violent extremism in North Africa… 

Religious convictions are a principal source of values for nearly 85% of the global community. As such, these convictions can be a significant factor in promoting divisiveness and enmity—or in building the trust needed to overcome violent conflict. Because the influence of religious, ethnic and tribal identities is frequently stronger than that of governments, the challenge of addressing conflict and violent religious extremism (VRE) often exceeds the reach of traditional diplomatic or military intervention. ICRD confronts this reality by employing a unique range of capabilities that effectively engage the belief systems and core values found at the heart of identity–based conflicts. In this effort, ICRD maximizes programmatic impact by integrating its community-based approach with other peacebuilding efforts, particularly those of governments.

While not itself a religious organization, ICRD builds the skills, capacity, and ranks of women and men peacebuilders of all faiths to address the root causes of identity-based conflict and violent extremism in their communities.

Our approach works. After two decades of direct engagement, ICRD is a preferred partner among government, civil society, and grassroots organizations for conducting trainings, developing local networks, and facilitating multi-track initiatives to resolve many of the critical crises affecting the globe today. We have worked in over 20 countries across the globe, including: Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Kenya, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the United States.