This week, the State Department announced that Christian ethicist Shaun Casey will lead its new office for “religious engagement.” Within the network of the State Department’s various offices, this one stands out as potentially divisive and potentially useful. Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department turned its attention to nontraditional diplomatic partners—and she intentionally engaged, among others, religious partners. That focus has continued under John Kerry, resulting in the official announcement of this office. But the U.S. government continues to face the issue of how exactly to engage religion.
"After 9/11, religion was put on the State Department's agenda—as a source of conflict. But religion can also be a force for peace."
In 2009, U.S. talks with Iran broke down because the U.S. was seeking quick results. It's time to try again.