The Institute for Global Engagement and Nyack College’s Institute for Public Service & Policy Development invite you to three free networking receptions and public lectures featuring Michael Gerson, E.J. Dionne, and Andrea Bartoli to explore Christians’ positive and negative contributions toward the Middle East conflict.

Each lecture will take place in the Senate Office Buildings near the US Capitol. Each event begins with refreshments at 6:30pm; the lecture begins at 7:00pm, and is followed by a time for responses and Q & A. The receptions and lectures are free and open to the public.

The series provides an opportunity for diverse Christian perspectives to interact with each other, along with invited Jewish and Muslim voices to help enrich the conversation. The series title suggests ways forward while recognizing how the Christian community broadly has both helped and hindered efforts to ease the conflict.

Wednesday, 17 March, 2010
Michael Gerson: “Faith or Fanaticism”
Mr. Gerson’s lecture will address the problem and promise of faith and politics in the Middle East. Is faith the reason why the sides fight or the reason why one day the sides might agree to lay down their arms? What is the Christian contribution to the problem and promise of faith in the Middle East?

Michael Gerson is senior research fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement’s Center on Faith & International Affairs, and a columnist for The Washington Post. He served as a policy adviser and chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush from 2000 to 2006. Before that, he was a senior editor covering politics at U.S. News & World Report. His book, “Heroic Conservatism,” was published by HarperOne in 2007.

Thursday, 29 April, 2010
E.J. Dionne: “Cries for Justice”

Mr. Dionne’s lecture will address hunger, housing, and social justice in the Middle East. Pope Paul VI once said, “If you want peace, work for justice.” This has been understood by many as a call to action to improve living conditions for all people. How have the problems of social injustice, including hunger and the struggle over housing, fueled the on-going conflict in the Middle East?

E.J. Dionne is a columnist for The Washington Post. Before joining The Post in 1990 as a political reporter, he spent 14 years at The New York Times, covering local, state, and national politics, and also served as a foreign correspondent in Paris, Rome and Beirut. He is a University Professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. Dionne has been a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio, ABC’s “This Week,” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” His books include Why Americans Hate Politics (1991), Stand Up Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge (2004), and They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate The Next Political Era (1996).

Thursday, 20 May, 2010
Andrea Bartoli: “Overcoming Violence”

Dr. Bartoli’s lecture will address fresh approaches to conflict resolution in the Middle East. The problem of violence has often plagued the process of state formation. A series of wars between nations, an ongoing intifada, and terrorist attacks against soft targets among the civil populations has kept the Israeli and Palestinian population at a high state of alert for over 60 years. Typically, military response to an attack has led to a repeated cycle of violent acts, with both sides hurling recriminations against the other. Is there any way out of this cycle? What can the global Christian church do to help bring peace? Are there any new and fresh responses to conflict resolution in the Middle East?

Dr. Andrea Bartoli has been the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s Drucie French Cumbie Chair at George Mason University since 2007. He works primarily on Peacemaking and Genocide Prevention. He has held many distinguished leadership positions, including Founding Director of Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR), Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and Teaching Fellow at Georgetown University and at the University of Siena. He is a member of the Dynamical Systems and Conflict Team and a Board member of Search for Common Ground. He has published books and articles on violence, migrations, and conflict resolution and was co-editor of Somalia, Rwanda and Beyond: The Role of International Media in Wars and International Crisis (1995).

RSVP: 202-220-1300 or

Click here to learn how to earn a Certificate in Religion and Conflict Resolution from Nyack College by attending these lectures and participating in a companion series of luncheon seminars.