Humanitarian Action

Kabul refugee children stand in line to receive aid


In a joint publication from Oxfam and Harvard Divinity School, Religious Literacy Project director Diane Moore joined a conversation on the role of religious literacy in humanitarian aid. Access the full publication for free here.


The symposium on religious literacy in humanitarian action was held on January 19–20, 2017 at Harvard Divinity School. It featured Alastair Ager, Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, and Azza Karam. Please see here for video recordings of all sessions.  

Panel discussions focused on case studies and feature leading scholars and activists. See the full schedule.

All Religious Literacy and the Professions symposia are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register here

Questions explored included the following:

  • What knowledge and assumptions about religion do faith-based and secular international humanitarian agencies have?
  • How do these assumptions impact their work?
  • When the focus is on supporting the implementation of the local humanitarian leadership agenda, what kind of knowledge about religion is most useful?

Using a series of case studies as a starting point, this symposium brought together humanitarian practitioners and leading scholars to discuss the ways in which religious literacy may impact both secular and faith based humanitarian organizations' delivery of high-quality, principled humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Our conversation generated new insights about the role of religious literacy in humanitarian action, the importance of local leadership, and the challenges posed by engaging religion in this field.


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