Academics at the University of St Andrews have established a research centre which will focus on the link between the two dominant forces of religion and politics.
The centre involves key academics across four disciplines and is patroned jointly by Cardinal O’Brien and writer and theologian Gustavo Gutierrez.
One key project will look at Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist communities in Scotland, while other research will build upon the study of the two fields which have dominated current research projects in the University’s School of Divinity.
The Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP) is a collaboration between the Schools of Divinity, International Relations, Modern Languages, and Philosophical and Anthropological Studies. It will be based at the School of Divinity under the leadership of Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, Dr Mario I. Aguilar.
The Centre will be officially launched this week (Thursday 10th February 2005) with a lecture on Religion and Politics by Dr Aguilar.
Dr Aguilar said: “After 9/11 and with an ever increase in religious pluralism in the world, the study of religion and politics has become central to the religious and political initiatives for sustainable development, global warming, religious pluralism, and the diversity of governance. In the case of Scotland the CSRP hopes to lead the way in the knowledge of diverse faith communities present in the country and the relations of Scotland with countries outside the European Union and North America”. The group will collaborate in research studies into the relation between religious and political history, the relation between theology and history and the history of world religion and Christian Churches.
The Centre will continue its collaboration with the British Government ‘Darwin Initiative’ funded project that focuses on religion and politics in Colombia – the project involves researchers from St Andrews, Strathclyde and Columbia’s Universidad de los Andes and Universidad Nacional.
Another international collaboration with researchers from France, Mexico, Chile and the USA will be conducted on the Social History of Latin America.
In addition to ongoing research projects, the Centre will run a weekly series of seminars and an annual colloquium, and it will publish a series of occasional papers and monographs on religion and politics.
The seminars are open to the public. The first seminar ‘Religion and Politics in Gustavo Gutierrez’ takes place on Thursday 10th February at 11.15am- 12.45pm at St. Mary’s College Hall, South Street, St Andrews.
Weblinks: CSRP http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk/divinity/csrp.html
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