Theme 1: Religious Foundations

On the sources, modes, and manifestations of religiosity.

  • Religious values and aspirations
  • Sacred sources: sites, narratives, texts
  • Religious philosophies and philosophies of religion
  • Theological sources and resources
  • World sources: religious and secular cosmologies
  • Creation accounts in science and religion
  • World destinies: religious and secular eschatologies
  • Reason and faith: congruencies and conflicts
  • Traditional, modern, and postmodern orientations to religion
  • Science and religion: congruencies and conflicts on the sources of design in the natural world
  • Religious counterpoints: agnosticism, atheism, materialism, and secularism
  • Religious prophets: their messages and their meanings
  • Religiosity: measures, forms, and levels of religious commitment
  • Religion and law
  • Religion and commerce
  • The natural, the human, and the supernatural
  • Rites and sites of passage: birth, adulthood, marriage, death
  • Medical ethics and bioethics
  • Anthropologies, psychologies, and sociologies of religion

Theme 2: Religious Community and Socialization

On learning religious ways, spiritual ways of life, and religious institutions.

  • Religious institutional governance
  • Symbology in theory and practice
  • Religious education and religion studies
  • Religiously-based schools and religion in public schools
  • Religion in ethnic, national, and racial identities
  • Congregations and religious community
  • Media for religious messages
  • Evangelism and conversion
  • Ritual, rite, liturgy
  • Prayer, contemplation, and meditation
  • Meditation as healing and therapy
  • Religious ‘ways of life’ and lifeworld practices
  • Religious art and architecture
  • Pilgrimage, tourism, and the search for spiritual meaning
  • Religious leadership

Theme 3: Religious Commonalities and Differences

On variations in religious forms and the relationships between different religions.

  • Comparative studies of religion
  • Monotheism, polytheism, and immanentist religions
  • Indigenous or first nation spiritualities
  • Inter-religious harmony
  • Interfaith dialogue
  • Religious diversity, tolerance, and understanding
  • Religions in globalization
  • Centrifugal and centripetal forces: difference and interdependence
  • Denominationalism: tendencies to fracture and recombination
  • Literal and metaphorical readings of sacred texts
  • Religion, identity, and ethnicity
  • Interreligious education
  • The nation state and religious exceptionalism
  • Religious dual belonging
  • Ecumenicalism
  • Interfaith dialogue and international interfaith organizations

Theme 4: The Politics of Religion​

On the relations of religion to the state and civil society.

  • Religion in politics and the politics of religion
  • Modernity and religious frameworks
  • Religious freedom in secular states
  • Chaplaincies and the state
  • Politics, society, and religion in religiously defined states
  • Religious minorities and the state
  • Social agendas for religion: sustainability, justice, peace
  • Religious divisions and social conflicts
  • Religiously inspired violence and non-violence
  • Gender, sexuality and religion
  • Women, patriarchy, and the sacred feminine
  • Religion as a source of community cohesion or community dissonance
  • Terrorism, political extremism, and religion
  • Religion and human security
  • Religion and global ethics
  • Religion and human rights
  • Religion and reconciliation
  • The future of religion