David Buckley, JS '04, examines the war on drugs in the Philippines—and questions if the Catholic Church can turn its moral standing into political influence

October 2, 2017

In an op-ed published in The Washington Post last week, Jefferson Scholar alumnus David Buckley examines the bloody war on drugs in the Philippines, and the role that the Catholic Church is playing, alongside human rights advocates, in the movement to stop the government’s extrajudicial killings.

David, who recently addressed the Jefferson Scholars community as a keynote speaker at the 2017 Institute for Leadership and Citizenship, has spent nearly 15 years studying the relationship between religion and democracy, both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2013, he accepted a positon at the University of Louisville as the Paul J. Weber Chair in Politics, Science, and Religion. He is the author of numerous articles in scholarly journals and recently published a book entitled Faithful to Secularism: The Religious Politics of Democracy in Ireland, Senegal, and the Philippines. While on sabbatical last year, he served as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in the U.S. Department of State, as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs.

Click here to read David’s op-ed on the Philippines.


Dave Buckley

Maryland Jefferson Scholar


David and Jane Walentas

A transformational gift for UVA — $100 million to benefit first-generation students

Read more


The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

Read more


The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

Read more