Religion in International Affairs

Religion in International Affairs

Program Aims

The Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, launched in June 2005, aims to provide intellectual leadership, develop new paradigms for research and teaching, create new resources and networks, and enhance public understanding of and discussion about religion in the international sphere.

The initiative supports projects that draw on scholarly expertise to foster and disseminate more nuanced, contextualized and dynamic understandings of religion in global public life, politics and policy. We understand religion to be important in many domains, including conflict and peace, environment and sustainability, political economy and development, health and education, gender, race and sexuality, law and human rights, social movements, migration and humanitarianism.


The initiative invites proposals from a variety of institutions that work to deepen interdisciplinary understanding of the role of religion in world affairs, including academic, public policy and media organizations. We also seek to foster collaborations across these sectors. While grant-making focuses on institutions in the United States, we encourage proposals that develop sustainable conversations and relationships with colleagues and institutional partners in many parts of the world.

Recent Grants

Shi’ism, Sectarianism, and Religious Mobilization in the Middle East
Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government|Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
2018Religion in International Affairs$0 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
Humanitarian Corridor Research Project
Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame|Notre Dame, Indiana, United States
2018Religion in International Affairs$250,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
Renewed support for a program on religion, journalism, and international affairs.
American Council of Learned Societies|New York, New York, United States
2018Religion in International Affairs$550,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
Religious Populism and the Future of Indian Democracy
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace|Washington, District of Columbia, United States
2018Religion in International Affairs$40,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
When Politics Are Sacralized: International Comparative Perspectives on Religious Claims and Nationalism
Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University|Medford, Massachusetts, United States
2018Religion in International Affairs$14,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
See All Religion in International Affairs Grants

Program Administrators

Director of Policy Initiatives: Dr. Toby Alice Volkman
Prior to joining the Luce Foundation, Toby worked as Director of Special Projects at the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program in New York. She has also served as a program officer at the Ford Foundation, where she developed and managed an initiative (“Crossing Borders”) to revitalize the field of area studies; as director of the South and Southeast Asia Programs at the Social Science Research Council; and as deputy provost at the New School. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago.
Program Assistant: Ms. Bridget Talone

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Bridget worked in arts administration and event planning before pursuing her M.F.A. at the Iowa Writers Workshop. She joined the Foundation in 2013.

Image: Mount Kailash with prayer flags. Photo © Chris Radcliffe
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Recent News and Announcements

See All Religion in International Affairs News
April 18, 2019
Baker Institute study challenges conventional wisdom on state religious officials in Middle East
Religion in International Affairs
April 17, 2019
The BJP in Power: Indian Democracy and Religious Nationalism
Religion in International Affairs
March 28, 2019
Cuba’s constitutional referendum awakens religious groups to their own power
Religion in International Affairs