Finding Religion Project

While past research has focused on treating religions as systems of belief that are consistent, organized, bounded, and hierarchical, the best work has disaggregated religion, studying the many diverse elements that make up religions. This project seeks to bring together researchers to explore best practice in the study of religion.

CURA Colloquium 2022-23

The 2022-23 Theme is “Religion and Authoritarianism”. The CURA Colloquium is an interdisciplinary program where CURA Fellows and the community meet regularly to discuss working papers on the given theme.

African Religion and Politics Project

Much of the work on religion and politics has been descriptive, presenting the historical relationship between religious groups and the state in various countries. While research has demonstrated relationships that range from close cooperation to antagonism, few researchers have sought to explain why particular types of religion and politics prevail. Through comparative research in a number of countries across Africa, the African Religion and Politics Project seeks to explore the factors that lead religious groups to support or challenge state authority. Led by CURA director Timothy Longman, the project has already undertaken or will undertake research in Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, and Senegal.

Indonesian Pluralisms: A Documentary and Multimedia Project on Islam, Democracy, and Civic Co-Existence

This project, with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation and directed by Robert W. Hefner, will create a documentary film and print publications for education on Indonesia, highlighting the best practices of civic pluralism in the country — as well as the challenges these practices yet face. The project links policy, journalism, and education related research to the creation of multi-media products for audiences and analysts in Indonesia and the United States.

Culture of Human Rights

Since the devastation of the Second World War and the Holocaust, human rights has emerged as a major focus for both domestic politics and international affairs. CURA’s project on the Culture of Human Rights explores multiple aspects of the transnational effort to promote international legal standards to protect human dignity. Through conferences and support for academic research and publications, this project looks at issues such as the relationship between human rights research and academic scholarship, the legacies of the Arab Spring, and the impact of conflict and means to prevent it.

Muslim Studies at CURA

The Muslim Studies Program acts as an interdisciplinary meeting point for scholars and researchers in diverse fields – ranging from anthropology, history, religion, politics, literature, language, and the arts – across the regions in which Muslims live – from the Americas to Europe, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia. Muslim Studies Program is also a home for several academic tracks for undergrads and graduate students.

Religion and Public Affairs Grad Student Group

This workshop is a platform for creative discussion between students and scholars interested in topics at the intersection of religion and politics.

International Religious Demography

International Religious Demography aims to provide comprehensive religious demographic information. The IRD project is collecting, collating and analyzing primary and secondary source material on religious demography for all major religions in every country of the world.