Re-envisioned in early 2021, the Religion and Theology Program cultivates diverse knowledge communities to advance more nuanced public understanding of religion. We support knowledge makers who reconsider accepted histories, weave new narratives, and imagine alternative futures.
The program awards grants primarily to organizations and institutions for dedicated projects, though more flexible funding can also be requested. Those interested in applying for a grant can submit a concept note through our online portal at any time.
Advancing Public Knowledge on Democracy, Race and Religion in America
The Luce Foundation is not currently accepting new concept notes in this grant category.
The Henry Luce Foundation’s Religion and Theology Program seeks new ideas for projects that will deepen public understanding of — and promote more productive public discussions about — democracy, race and religion in America.
The Luce Foundation invites the submission of concept notes from a wide range of knowledge organizations, including community arts organizations, media outlets, museums, colleges and universities, independent seminaries, and other organizations committed to envisioning and building a more open, democratic, and equitable world through critical and creative engagement with religion and communities of faith.
We define knowledge broadly and aim to support its creation and public circulation in many forms, including (but not limited to) independent media, visual art, film and video, educational curricula, policy analysis, community advocacy, research and scholarship.
Due no later than February 15, 2023, concept notes should be submitted through the Foundation’s online portal. Grants awarded will range from $200,000 to $400,000 and will typically fund work that can be completed in less than five years.
Through competitively awarded grants, the Luce Foundation aims to support collaborative and experimental initiatives that seek to deepen understanding of religion’s complex and contested place in public life, to envision and cultivate new religious and democratic possibilities, and to promote more curious and more generous public conversations.
We invite inquiries for projects that challenge received understandings and revisit accepted histories, amplify more capacious narratives of American religion, and alter the terms, tone, and terrain of public discourse.
The Foundation especially encourages the submission of ideas for projects that:
• Deepen and extend efforts to build a more open, democratic, and equitable future
• Strengthen understanding of the role of religion in movements for racial justice
• Critically examine connections among religion, racism, and nationalism
• Intersect with the aims and emphases of related Luce Foundation initiatives, including efforts to amplify AAPI stories, to support Indigenous knowledge makers, and to strengthen the fabric of democracy and civil society
Through its grantmaking, the Religion and Theology Program supports initiatives that cross religious, racial, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries; that draw on diverse knowledge communities and foreground underrepresented voices; and that attend to transnational movements, flows, engagements, and influences.
Collaborative engagement across sectors and contexts – including religious, academic, media, policy, activist, and/or art communities – is particularly encouraged, and special consideration will be given to proposed projects involving such partnerships.
Examples of recently funded collaborative work include: Acts of Faith: Religion and the American West (a public fellows program and museum exhibition planned by the New-York Historical Society); the Detroit Muslim Storytelling Project (a documentary and oral history project produced through a partnership between Dream of Detroit and Western Michigan University); Finding Holy Ground: Performing Visions of Race and Justice in America (a theater project involving collaboration between Wake Forest University and the North Carolina Black Repertory Company); Sacred Places Protection: Fulfilling U.S. Religious Freedom Promises to Native Peoples (launched and directed by the Native American Rights Fund, in collaboration with Native traditional knowledge bearers, cultural rights specialists, and scholars of religious studies); and Transformative Hope: Religious Responses of Asian American Elders to Racism (a video series produced by APARRI and the Asian American Research Initiative, in partnership with Stop AAPI Hate),
Should you have questions in advance of completing an inquiry, please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 30, 2022 – Application portal is open for submissions
February 15, 2023 – Deadline for institutions to complete and submit concept note
June 15, 2023 – Deadline for selected institutions to submit full proposals
November 30, 2023 – Awards are announced
Additional Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions
• Institutions outside of the United States may submit appropriate projects for consideration only if they provide evidence of non-profit status acceptable to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
• Funded projects may begin no earlier than January 1, 2024.