Religion and the Open Society
This symposium will examine how the different forms of Christianity and Islam may have helped, and sometimes hindered, the development of free and open societies - not just in the narrow sense of democratic government but in the broader sense of openness to progress, innovation, an entrepreneurial spirit in economics, and a competitive marketplace of ideas.
Session One: Religion, Pluralism, and Freedom of Inquiry
Peter L. Berger, Professor Emeritus of Religion, Sociology and Theology, and Director,
The Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University
Mustafa Akyol, Deputy Editor, Turkish Daily News
Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director, The Center for Muslim Studies,
The Gallup Organization
Presider: George E. Rupp, President, International Rescue Committee
8:30 to 9:00 a.m. Breakfast Reception
9:00 to 10:15 a.m. Meeting
Session Two: Religion-State Relations
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory University Law School
Noah Feldman, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Philip Hamburger, Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, Columbia University Law School
Presider: Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Meeting
Session Three: Religion, Innovation, and Economic Progress
Timur Kuran, Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor in Islam
and the Social Sciences, Duke University
Robert D. Woodberry, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin
Third Speaker to be Announced
Presider: Peter Steinfels, Co-Director, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture
12:00 to 12:45 p.m. Buffet Lunch
12:45 to 2:00 p.m. Meeting
Infrastructure spending was among the biggest components of Obama's 2009 stimulus package, but since then sucess has been limited. Obama’s signature high-speed rail project has not been implemented and Congress has blocked most of his other big ideas. Due to the current federal paralysis, at least thirty states have launched serious initiatives to increase transportation-dedicated funding since 2013. CFR's Renewing America infrastructure score card provides more information on the infrastructure and transportation challenges facing the United States.
To advise state and local government on how best to use private investment and build more critical infrastructure in a cost-effective way, Heidi Crebo-Rediker recommends the federal government create a new advisory unit within the Treasury Department called "Infrastructure USA."
Heidi Crebo-Rediker details Presdient Obama's latest initiative to repair American bridges, roads, water, and sewer pipes through the private sector.