For the past several decades, and most acutely since 2001, public and academic debate has been increasingly preoccupied by a putative “return of religion.” A domain of human experience once thought to have been subordinated by “secularization,” religion is now often proclaimed to pose the single greatest threat to the construction of a liberal international legal and political order – as well as, though less often, the greatest hope for the preservation and improvement of that order. Fierce debates on the proper role of religion have moved to the very center of public discussion in countries around the globe. In the academy, inquiries into the contingent and contested meanings of the key terms in this debate – such as “religion,” “secularization,” and “the international” – have occupied scholars in disciplines ranging from sociology, political science, and international relations to law, religious studies, philosophy, and literature. Religion and Internationalism is a long-term research project that addresses these issues through colloquia open to faculty and graduate students, periodic public lectures, art exhibitions, and innovative teaching initiatives. The project’s overall goal is to build a broad scholarly network required to address this global and interdisciplinary topic, both within Brown and the broader scholarly community.
Cogut Institute for the Humanities
Thomas A. Lewis