Religion and foreign policy: Scholar Maryann Cusimano Love

Maryann Cusimano Love is a member of the U.S. Department of State’s working group on religion and foreign policy, which is charged with helping the U.S. engage more effectively with sectors of civil society in other countries. She teaches international relations at the Catholic University of America. Her books include Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda and the forthcoming Morality Matters: Ethics and the War on Terrorism.

Religion has generally not been seen as an important subject at the State Department when it comes to training, strategy and planning. Why?

During the cold war, the focus was on fighting communism and constraining the Soviet Union, and the Soviets were “godless communists.” Religion and religious actors weren’t seen as important if you were fighting an atheistic state.