We do research on global concerns: complex issues that concern all regions and religions of the world, and not only theology but also the humanities and sciences.
Religion & MigratioN 2017-2018
The study of migration is inseparable from the history and contemporary life of religions. What do religious traditions look like when seen through the lens of migration? In what ways do religious communities influence the immigrant experience? How should religious actors respond to what Saskia Sassen has called emergent migrant flows, including unaccompanied minors, religious minorities, and those fleeing war zones and despoiled habitats? How can religions make a normative contribution to public debates on migrants and refugees? These are some of the many questions our international and interdisciplinary community of scholars explored in our research workshop on religion and migration. Its insights will continue to inform our inquiry on the other issues below.
Find podcasts with members of our migration workshop on our Connect page.
Religion & Violence 2018-2019
The relationship between religion and violence is complex and contested, raising a range of theological and interdisciplinary questions for the seminar. How are both terms defined, related, and deployed across disciplines? What resources do religions offer for ending violent conflict? How is the violence in religious texts, histories, media, or practices to be interpreted? How can we identify and engage with religious factors in conflict situations? Can religions counteract gender-based and domestic violence? What role do local religious communities or the arts and religion play in resolving violent conflict? These are among the many questions to be explored in the Fall and Spring Research Workshops on Religion & Violence during the 2018-19 academic year.
You can follow the workshop conversations on the Home and Connect pages.
Religion & economic Inequality 2019-2020
Rising economic inequality has become a public issue of wide concern around the world. Given the significant reductions in poverty in some but not all regions of the world, what is the relationship between inequality, health, and wealth? Religions have long moral traditions of concern for the poor. Does concern about inequality raise new moral questions for these traditions, and for theology and religious ethics? How does concern about inequality challenge religiously informed economic practices such as charitable giving, Islamic finance, and ethical investing, or for example Catholic social teaching on the common good? What role does religion have in communities affected by economic inequality? Will artificial intelligence or human enhancement technologies lead to new forms of inequality that are problematic for religious notions of human dignity, freedom, or solidarity? Our dialogue between theology and economics on inequality calls for collaboration across disciplines, including religious studies, ethics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, law, public health, and technology studies. Applications are welcome from researchers in these fields.
Online applications open on the Apply page, September 1 - December 1, 2018
Religion & the Built Environment 2020-2021
The ways we construct and inhabit the built environment are now fundamental to human flourishing in an increasingly urbanized and globalized world. Historically present in all religions, cultures, and politics, the communicative and ritual capacity of the built environment could transform our failing approaches to complex global issues like climate change and social conflict. The Abrahamic religions, for example, have affirmed the goodness of the material world as the terrain of divine action and architecture as a medium of theological expression, relating God to creation, matter to spirit. To realize this potential for a spiritually informed built environment, our interdisciplinary dialogue between theology and architecture will welcome applications to our workshops from researchers in fields as diverse as contemplative neuroscience, psychology of religion, environmental psychology, sacred arts, religious aesthetics, liturgy, material religion, art performance, anthropology, phenomenology, sustainable planning, and art and architectural history.
Online applications open on the Apply page, September 1 - December 1, 2019. Our research workshops will be run in cooperation with the Architecture, Culture & Spirituality Forum.
Religion & the Natural environment 2021-2022
The environmental crisis on our planet cuts across a range of global problems. This capstone year for the Center's inquiry on religion and global issues will welcome research proposals that consider the relationship between religion and the natural environment through the lens of related global trends, including forced migration, religious violence, economic inequality, and urbanization. This goal will also be informed by our pioneering inquiry on astrobiology, religion and society, studying the societal implications of planetary-scale life. In this concluding workshop, the Center of Theological Inquiry will connect these five global issues in ways that will generate what South African theologian and CTI Member Russel Botman said the times demand: fresh thinking on a planetary ethics.
Online applications open on the Apply page, September 1 - December 1, 2020