Faith and business are powerful forces for peace

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How to get businesses interested in your research

10 Jun, 2019

Join us TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) for a global webinar* with experts on religion and business discussing how their work has been relevant to the business world. Registration required.

Speakers (by webinar order): 

Brian Grim, Ph. D., is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, a corporate trainer on religious diversity & inclusion, and a leading scholar on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of religious freedom.  He has extensive international experience and is a TEDx speaker and a speaker at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.

Brian’s recent research finds that religion contributes $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, more than the combined revenues of companies including Apple, Amazon and Google. He  is recent chair of the World Economic Forum’s faith council and he works closely with the United Nations Business for Peace platform. He is an affiliated scholar at Baylor University, Boston University, Georgetown University, and the Freedom Forum Institute. Brian is a Penn State alumnus and author of numerous works including The Price of Freedom Denied (Cambridge), World Religion Database (Brill), World’s Religions in Figures (Wiley) and Yearbook of International Religious Demography (Brill).


Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology at The Catholic University of America. He holds degrees in Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University and HEC Montreal, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame. His research examines organizational cultures in commercial, religious, medical, and scientific institutions, and has been widely published in leading peer-review journals. He is author of Mercenaries and Missionaries: Capitalism and Catholicism in the Global South (Cornell University Press, 2019), and co-author of Secularity and Science: What Scientists around the World Really Think About Religion (Oxford University Press, 2019).

His ongoing research examines well-being in scientific careers and mental health in religious communities. Mercenaries and Missionaries examines the relationship between rapidly diffusing forms of capitalism and Christianity in the Global South. Using more than two hundred interviews in Bangalore and Dubai, Brandon Vaidyanathan explains how and why global corporate professionals straddle conflicting moral orientations in the realms of work and religion. Vaidyanathan concludes that global corporations and religious communities create distinctive cultures, with normative models that powerfully orient people to those cultures—the Mercenary in cutthroat workplaces, and the Missionary in churches. As a result, global corporate professionals in rapidly developing cities negotiate starkly opposing moral commitments in the realms of work and religion, which in turn shapes their civic commitment to these cities.


Joyce S. Dubensky, Esq., Chief Executive Officer: Tanenbaum’s CEO, Ms. Dubensky, has directed its dramatic expansion, adding new initiatives to each of Tanenbaum’s core programs. Her dynamic leadership transformed Tanenbaum from a well-regarded U.S. institution to an internationally recognized thought leader. Ms. Dubensky has overseen many firsts, each a new contribution to the burgeoning field of interreligious understanding: the first toolkit on religious diversity for workplace managers, the first comprehensive guide on the intersections of religion and health care and the first book collecting the compelling life stories of Tanenbaum’s Peacemakers in Action.

Most recently, Tanenbaum and RFBF launched the Corporate Religious Diversity Assessment (CRDA), which offers global companies a resource for internally evaluating their religious diversity, equity and inclusion efforts—and how they align with business goals and freedom of religious belief. Whether companies consider themselves far along in their diversity, inclusion and equity journeys, or just starting, the CRDA is a concrete assessment tool for identifying how far companies have come and steps for moving forward. The CRDA can be found at crdatool.com. Internationally in demand as a speaker and trainer, Ms. Dubensky speaks, trains and conducts workshops on all Tanenbaum programs including on managing issues of religion in the workplace. As an attorney, she created the Legal Department at the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York and served as its General Counsel for over ten years. Ms. Dubensky began her legal career with the law firm of Botein Hays Sklar and Herzberg and holds her J.D. from New York University School of Law.


* This webinar is hosted by the Public Scholars Project, a joint initiative of the Public Understanding of Religion Committee of the American Academy of Religion and the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute. The Public Scholars Project created this webinar series to help scholars hone their skills at communicating with a variety of publics. Our webinars feature scholars and practitioners who can provide tools, resources and recommendations for presenting in a variety of settings (e.g., social media, news, public events and community gatherings) about a range of topics.