High Point students address the "God gap"

February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

Apparently HPU students are ahead of the curve. Since last fall High Point University students in GBS/REL/PHL 331 World Religions & Eastern Philosophies (soon to be renamed Asian Thought & Global Concerns) have been responding to what the Chicago Council on Global Affairs has only recently called a "serious capabilities gap" in American foreign policy.

An article released yesterday in the Washington Post titled "God gap' impedes U.S. foreign policy" summarizes many of the finding in the report, such as the realization that "the U.S. government has been slow to respond effectively to situations where religion plays a global role," as well as recommendations to the White House that President Obama make religion "an integral part of our foreign policy."

For two semesters now HPU students in GBS 331 have been writing "Asian News Analysis" papers, in which they are required to provide policy advice relative to a current Asian news story in which religion plays a key role. Examples of topics addressed include: Aung San Suu Kyi's continued house arrest in Myanmar, reports of India's ongoing violation of human rights, accounts of religious intolerance and persecution in Indonesia, and the ongoing Tibetan sovereignty debate. Students have provided historical background regarding the religious dynamics involved, commented on the significance of the current geo-political dynamic, and have offered specific policy proposals the United States government ought to consider with respect to the situation in question.

To current GBS students... as you can tell, we're not just engaged in an intellectual exercise. You're attempting exactly what our country requires. To future students... come join the conversation next fall.

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