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

For the project, Managing Religious Diversity in Iraq, 2003-2018, at the London School of Economics.
London School of Economics and Political Science|London, London, United Kingdom
2019Religion in International Affairs$350,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
For the project, Religion and the Public Sphere: Social Justice and Environmental Crises.
Social Science Research Council|Brooklyn, New York, United States
2019Religion in International Affairs$450,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
For the project, Religion and Environmental Displacement in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Center for Latin American & Latino Studies, American University|Washington, District of Columbia, United States
2019Religion in International Affairs$300,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
For the 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
For the project, Egalitarian Ethics and Jurisprudence of Marriage.
Musawah Global Vision Berhad|Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2019Religion in International Affairs$315,000 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. Devin Denny

Prior to joining the Luce Foundation, Devin was a grant writer and fundraiser for human and social services for New York City’s performing arts and entertainment community. Devin holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in Religion, Politics and Ethics, and earned her Bachelors of Arts with Honors from the University of Rochester, with a double major in European History and Comparative Religion.

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

See All Religion in International Affairs News
Oct. 15, 2019
Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Launches Project on Shi'ism and Global Affairs
Religion in International Affairs
Sept. 10, 2019
Religion, Conflict, and Stability in the Former Soviet Union
Religion in International Affairs
Aug. 30, 2019
New Course at ASU Dives Into the World of Religion, Politics and the Media
Religion in International Affairs