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2017-18: Religion in Public Life

Across human cultures, religion has been one of the leading sources of both inspiration and conflict among individuals and groups. It has provided the motivation for some of the most significant movements for social reform, and for some of the most significant violations of fundamental moral norms. It has both supported and stood in opposition to domination and social hierarchy. Religious disagreements underlie some of the most contentious political disputes in this country and around the world.
The Religion COMPAS explores the contribution that religious beliefs and institutions can make, and the challenge that they can pose, to public life broadly construed. In keeping with the COMPAS program’s mission of fostering civil and informed discussion of important and controversial issues of public concern, we are soliciting contributions from a wide range of religious and non-religious perspectives. Topics discussed include:
  • The historical development of religious toleration
  • The role of religion and pluralism in domestic and global politics
  • Religion as a cause of violence and a force for peace
  • Religious and secular understandings of human equality and social justice
  • The relationship between religious and scientific modes of understanding
  • The prospects for inter-religious cooperation to address challenges such as global poverty and environmental sustainability

COMPAS Conferences

The core of the Religion COMPAS consisted of three interdisciplinary conferences:


COMPAS Sponsored Events

The Religion COMPAS program also included a number of events, including presentations from individual speakers, small panels, and even a Visual Arts Contest designed to explore the Religion theme:


Religion-related University events

COMPAS regularly co-sponsors and advertises related events in an effort to bring other University resources to the forefront of the COMPAS conversation.