WEBINAR | Scapegoating the Faithful in the COVID-19 Crisis: A Conversation with Katherine Marshall

September 4, 2020

On September 4, 2020, Eric Patterson, RFI Executive Vice President, interviews Katherine Marshall, Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University, on the issue of scapegoating religious communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Recalling history and human nature, Marshall notes that in times of great upheaval, such as a pandemic, finding someone to blame is a common phenomenon. After exploring the causes of scapegoating, and particular manifestations of it during COVID-19, Marshall and Patterson conclude with stories that highlight the tremendous good that people of faith have done in response to the pandemic, and some steps we can take to address the problems religious communities are facing.

Full bios:

Katherine Marshall is a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, where she leads the center’s work on religion and global development, and a professor of the practice of development, conflict, and religion in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She helped to create and now serves as the executive director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue. Marshall, who worked at the World Bank from 1971 to 2006, has nearly five decades of experience on a wide range of development issues in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, and the Middle East, particularly those facing the world’s poorest countries. She led the World Bank’s faith and ethics initiative between 2000 and 2006.

Marshall’s most recent book, co-edited with Susan Hayward, is Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen (United States Institute of Peace, 2015). Her book Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers (Routledge, 2013) explores the relationship between religious institutions and current world affairs. She has also written extensively on international development, including The World Bank: from Reconstruction to Development to Equity (Routledge, 2008); Development and Faith: Where Mind, Heart and Soul Work Together, co-authored with Marisa Van Saanen (World Bank, 2007); and Mind, Heart and Soul in the Fight against Poverty, co-authored with Lucy Keough (World Bank, 2004). She blogs for the Huffington Post and previously authored the blog “Faith in Action” for the Newsweek/Washington Post website OnFaith

Marshall serves on the boards of several NGOs and on advisory groups, including AVINA Americas, the International Shinto Foundation, the Niwano Peace Prize International Selection Committee, and the Opus Prize Foundation. She spent several years as a core group member of the Council of 100, a World Economic Forum initiative to advance understanding between the Islamic world and the West. Marshall is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was previously a trustee of Princeton University. She serves on the board of IDEA (International Development Ethics Association) and is part of the International Anti-Corruption Advisory Conference advisory council. She has served as co-moderator of the Fes Forum, which has been part of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music since its inception. Marshall has a B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.A. from Princeton University, an MPA from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Cambodia.

Eric Patterson, Ph.D. serves as Executive Vice President of the Religious Freedom Institute. Patterson is scholar-at-large and past dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University and a Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, where he previously served full-time.  Patterson’s interest in the intersection of religion, ethics, and foreign policy is informed by two stints at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, with work in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo, Angola, and elsewhere.  He has significant government service, including over twenty years as an officer and commander in the Air National Guard and serving as a White House Fellow working for the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  

Patterson is the author or editor of over a dozen books, including Politics in a Religious World: Toward a Religiously Informed U.S. Foreign Policy (2012), Just American Wars: Ethical Dilemmas in U.S. Military History (2019), Ending Wars Well (2012), Ethics Beyond War’s End (2012), and Military Chaplains in Iraq, Afghanistan (2011).  He has also published on religious freedom, democracy, and democratization in International Studies Perspectives, Review of Faith and International Affairs, Public Integrity, and the International Journal of Religious Freedom.  In addition to articles in scholarly journals such as Survival, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Security Studies his work has been published in popular outlets like The Washington Post and Washington Times. 

Patterson has provided briefings and seminars for multiple government agencies, including France’s Ministry of Defense, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Naval War College, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, the U.S. military academies, and many others.  Patterson holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Master’s in International Politics from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth.