Professor Michael Driessen Participates in G20 Interfaith Forum

Professor Michael Driessen

Professor Michael Driessen

Professor Michael Driessen recently participated in the G20 Interfaith Forum in Bologna, a high-level meeting of religious leaders, policymakers, government ministers, and scholars as part of Italy’s 2021 rotating presidency of the G20. Speakers included Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister, David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament, Luigi di Maio, the Italian Foreign Minister, Romano Prodi, the former Italian Prime Minister and President of the EU Commission, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Riccardo di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome, among others.

Prof. Driessen is Associate Professor of Political Science at John Cabot University. He received his doctorate from the University of Notre Dame and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar. Professor Driessen’s research focuses on the role of public religions in Catholic and Muslim societies, and he teaches courses on Religion and Politics, Middle East Politics, and War, Peace, and Conflict Resolution. In 2018 he won the prestigious Jean Monnet Fellowship to continue his research on interreligious dialogue at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

Prof. Driessen presented research from a new, co-edited volume he published with ISPI (the Italian Institute for International Political Studies) in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Adyan Foundation of Lebanon. The publication, which also received a papal endorsement from Pope Francis, brought together 20 policymakers, scholars, and religious leaders, where they engaged in interreligious initiatives in the Mediterranean region. In his presentation, Driessen introduced “Human Fraternity” and “Inclusive Citizenship” as dynamic concepts which have emerged from these interreligious efforts and which, he argued, contained important policy implications for models of development in the region. The research is part of a longer-term project Driessen is conducting on the “Global Politics of Interreligious Dialogue” across the broader Middle East region. Supported by funding through John Cabot University, Prof. Driessen has completed fieldwork for the project in Lebanon, Algeria, Egypt, Qatar, the UAE, and Jordan.

Read more about the publication, “Human Fraternity and Inclusive Citizenship: Interreligious Engagement in the Mediterranean and learn more about the G20 Interfaith Forum.