Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict

Recent Publications by Project Members


Secularism: A Conversation with Joan Wallach Scott
— Interview by David Kyuman Kim


Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age
— Edited by Linell Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

International Conferences


Arizona State University (March 2010): Gendering the Divide: Conflicts at the Border of Religion and the Secular


Delhi (January 2009): Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and Secularisms


Istanbul (July 2008): The History and Politics of Secularism

ASU's Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict (CSRC) promotes interdisciplinary research and education on the dynamics of religion and conflict with the aim of advancing knowledge, seeking solutions and informing policy.

Disputes over the nature and legitimacy of the secular state and society have exploded in recent decades both in the United States and abroad. Religious actors and movements increasingly challenge, and sometimes violently resist, the secular consensus that has dominated politics and policy in modern democratic states. Greater understanding of the nature and varieties of secularism is urgently needed to move past polarized and increasingly inflammatory positions that pit an antireligious secularism against religious actors suspicious if not hostile to the secular state and society.

This project, funded by the Ford Foundation, has explored the varieties and politics of secularism and the public role of religion through international conferences, workshops, and publications. Some of the central goals of the project have included rethinking the dominant public narratives that shape attitudes and perceptions about the interface of religion and the secular within and across countries, and fostering new crossdisciplinary and international conversations that create space for fresh thinking on the challenges of religious pluralism within the new global order. The project's second and third conferences focused on these dynamics in France, India, Turkey and the United States, and selected essays were published in the edited volume Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age. The fourth and final conference focused on the role of gender in configurations of, and conflicts between, religion and secularism, and a collection of essays is forthcoming.

The project is led by Linell Cady, Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University, in collaboration with an international project team and additional researchers at ASU.