American Academy of Religion Receives Grant to Advance Public Scholarship

The Theology Program has awarded a $1M grant to the American Academy of Religion (AAR) for a project focused on public scholarship. The grant will fund expansion of "Reading Religion"—a public, online review of publications in religious studies—and opportunities to explore future possibilities for advancing public scholarship.

The American Academy of Religion (AAR) has been awarded a three-year, $1M grant from The Henry Luce Foundation to advance public scholarship.

“We are pleased and encouraged that The Henry Luce Foundation has chosen to support this initiative around public scholarship, which is an important aspect of our mission,” said Dr. Alice Hunt, AAR Executive Director. “The generosity of this grant will enable deeper engagement among our members and foster relationships with various publics that can benefit from the incredible expertise AAR members possess.”

Through this grant, the AAR will build on the early momentum of Reading Religion, its publicly accessible book review site, by increasing user engagement through several new initiatives, including the creation of a journalist-friendly hub that connects media professionals with scholars of religion. The grant will also establish a working group to explore and recommend opportunities for advancing public scholarship and assess the risks and challenges involved with such pursuits. Finally, the grant will allow the AAR to offer mini-grants to AAR members doing public scholarship.

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