Religion and Theology

Religion and Theology

Program Aims

The Henry Luce Foundation’s Religion and Theology Program aims to foster fresh thinking about religion across multiple social and cultural contexts, to expand and diversify critical intellectual engagement with religion in the United States and beyond, and to promote creative public-facing scholarship.

The program builds on the efforts of the Luce Foundation’s longstanding Theology Program, and on the work of the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, launched in 2005.

The Luce Foundation has included religion and theology among its core interests from its earliest days, and for more than eighty years its approach to religious practice and theological inquiry has been informed by curiosity, openness, and an appreciation for difference. Funding a wide range of efforts to productively cross religious, disciplinary, and geographic boundaries, the Foundation’s religion and theology grantmaking has consistently emphasized the value of scholarship and the significance of lived religion, supporting knowledge makers whose work shapes new thinking, engages diverse communities of practice, and aims to enrich public discourse.

The program’s current initiatives include an RFP seeking to advance public knowledge on the topic of race, justice, and religion in America. Further details regarding new directions for the program’s work will be posted in the coming months.

Recent Grants

To launch and develop a "Black Interfaith" fellowship program
Interfaith Youth Core|Chicago, Illinois, United States
2021Religion and Theology$1,000,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
Archiving Sacred Spaces Fellowship
George Floyd Global Memorial|St Paul, Minnesota, United States
2021Religion and Theology$50,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
Learning with Charlottesville
Religion, Race & Democracy Lab, University of Virginia|Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
2021Religion and Theology$250,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
200 Years of Johnson v. McIntosh
Syracuse University|Syracuse, New York, United States
2021Religion and Theology$250,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
Pursuit of Dignity
St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA)|St. Louis, Missouri, United States
2021Religion and Theology$250,000 View Grant Details Icon - Link Out
See All Religion and Theology Grants

Program Administrators

Program Director: Dr. Jonathan VanAntwerpen

Prior to joining the Foundation, Jonathan was the founding director of the religion and the public sphere program at the Social Science Research Council, where he developed and directed a range of grant-funded projects, launched a suite of experimental digital publishing platforms, served as acting director of communications, and worked to incubate a new initiative on knowledge and culture in a digital age. Jonathan is co-editor of a series of books on secularism and religion, including Habermas and Religion (Polity), Rethinking Secularism (Oxford), The Post-Secular in Question (NYU), The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere (Columbia), and Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age (Harvard). Originally trained as a philosopher, he received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Jonathan can be reached by email at

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: RIOTcon, the biennial conference hosted by the InterReligious Institute (IRI) at Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). © Chicago Theological Seminary
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Recent News and Announcements

See All Religion and Theology News
Jan. 6, 2022
Online Archive Documents Complex Religious Dimensions to the January 6th Capitol Riot
Religion and Theology
Dec. 14, 2021
$14 Million in New Grants Amplifies Diverse Experiences and Funds Community-Engaged Projects
Foundation News, Grants Announcement
Dec. 13, 2021
$4 Million Awarded to Projects that Examine and Reframe Race, Justice, and Religion in America
Religion and Theology, Grants Announcement