Tony Blair Formally Welcomes McGill to Faith and Globalisation Initiative

Supporting Leaders

Tony Blair Formally Welcomes McGill to Faith and Globalisation Initiative

12 Nov 2010

Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister and Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, will speak at the formal launch of McGill University's partnership with his Faith Foundation's Faith and Globalization Initiative in Montreal today.

He will take part in a discussion led by CBC anchor Evan Solomon about the importance of understanding the impact of faith in a globalized world, and how academic research and analysis can help build insights and appreciation of the role of faith in the modern context.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation's Faith and Globalization Initiative helps emerging leaders understand how faith motivates people, and analyses the impact of religion on the modern world. The network produces research, publications, conferences and policy papers.

McGill is the first university in Canada to become part of the network, joining six other leading research universities around the world; Yale, Durham (UK), Peking, Western Australia, Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico) and the National University of Singapore.

Over 50 undergraduate students from 5 different departments have signed up to the "Religion and Globalization" which explores individual religions and their engagement with globalization as well as human rights, health, development, and ecology.

In August five student representatives from McGill went on a field trip to Singapore to plan inter-university collaboration with students from the other six partners universities and Tony Blair. The conference provided an opportunity for a genuine and in-depth exchange of ideas across different continents, faiths and nationalities.

In the last 10 days Tony Blair has lectured and delivered speeches on the role of faith in the modern world at Tecnológico de Monterrey university in Mexico, Peking, Yale and today McGill.

"My belief is that, in the modern world, we cannot afford or sanction what I would call 'religious illiteracy'. No one today, aspiring to lead a country, company or civic organisation should be without a developed understanding of religion and its role in our different societies. Our ambition is to create an academic discipline, with research and publications around the concept of faith and globalization. This takes religion out of the exclusive preserve of the divinity school and re-unites it with the study of society." Mr. Blair will say.

"We believe McGill University, with its global links and broad diversity of research abilities and expertise, is an ideal venue to help us achieve this. That is why we have turned to universities around the world to stimulate research and the exchange of ideas on so many different levels."