In the past, COMPAS Programs have featured two day-and-a-half conferences, one in the fall and one in the spring. This year, the COMPAS Program on Religion in Public Life, will instead feature three one-day conferences, one in the fall and two in the spring. We are excited to be able to home in on three important topics within our theme, and hope the new, more compact conferences allows fuller participation in each.

Religion in Global Context

April 13, 2018, 8:45a - 12:30p
11th Floor, Thompson Library

How has religion contributed to the pursuit of world peace?  How has it served as a source of global conflict and violence?  Does religious belief play an essential role in bringing about moral progress?  Are religious conflicts really about religion?

8:45a - 9:00a - Welcoming Remarks

  • Don Hubin, Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values

9:00a - 10:30a - Session 1: Religion and Global Conflict

11:00a - 12:30p - Session 2:  Religion and Global Cooperation

  • Speakers:
    • Azza Karam (Senior Socio-cultural Adviser, UNFPA)
    • Donald A. Sylvan (Political Science, Ohio State University)

Religion and the State

January 26, 2018
11th Floor, Thompson Library

What role does religion play in the formation and preservation of national identity?  What should we do when religious pluralism threatens the integrity of the political community?  Are transnational religious commitments compatible with national political ones?

Session 1: Islam and the liberal state


  • Mustafa Akyol (Freedom Project, Wellesley College)
  • Zareena Grewal (American Studies and Religious Studies, Yale University)
  • Shadi Hamid (Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution)


Session 2: Religion and American national identity



Religious Freedom

September 8, 2017

What makes a belief, practice, or community “religious”?  Should religious freedoms be given more protection under the law than secular ones?  What should we do when the exercise of religious freedom collides with the public interest?

Session 1:  What (if anything) is special about religious freedom?



Session 2:  What are the proper limits of religious freedom?



  • Isaac Weiner (Center for the Study of Religion and Comparative Studies, Ohio State University)