Through funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, the British Council is awarding grants to three consortia to conduct original research and engage with stakeholders in the religion and international affairs field. The three grants span from 2017 to 2020, during which time each consortium will conduct research, disseminate policy recommendations, and organize workshops based on research findings. Each consortium is composed of at least two Principle Investigators: one from a UK institution and the other from a US institution. The research will focus on an array of issues that have not received as much attention or been fully explored from a transatlantic perspective. These issues can be gathered under the overarching theme of “religion and the public sphere – transatlantic perspectives.” Each consortium must conduct research under at least one of the following sub-themes:

  • Religion and diversity; 
  • Religion and social justice; 
  • Religion and public education; 
  • Religion, politics and ideology; 
  • Religious minorities, intolerance and discrimination; and/or 
  • Religion, peace, violence and conflict resolution.

Learn more about our 2017-2020 consortia

Contemporary Eastern Orthodox Identity and the Challenges of Pluralism and Sexual Diversity in a Secular Age

University of Exeter and Fordham University (Orthodox Christian Studies Center)

Brandon Gallaher, Aristotle Papanikolaou

How can representatives of secular democratic governments, organizations and cultures engage effectively with representatives of governments and organizations whose cultural and religious identities are shaped by the moral and theological commitments of Orthodox Christianity regarding the identity, needs and rights of LGBTQ+ individuals? This project aims to identify in what ways opposition to “sexual diversity” has been characteristic of Eastern Orthodox religion and culture in the past and present, as well as how policymakers in the USA, UK, and Europe can respond. 

The Muslim Atlantic: Exploring Transnational Connections between American and British Muslims

King's College London and George Mason University

Daniel Nilsson DeHanas, Peter Mandaville

To what extent are the transatlantic ties that connect British and American Muslims giving rise to a distinctively ‘Atlantic Islam’ that embodies the experiences, challenges, and ideas that define Muslim life in Europe and North America? This project aims to identify and evaluate the emerging concerns and influences of such a network to prompt policymakers to think more critically about interlinked policies that affect transatlantic Muslim constituencies.

Religion and Social Justice for Refugees

University College London and Yale University

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Zareena Grewal, Unni Krishnan Karunakara 

What is the relationship between religion and the promotion of social justice for refugees? Through comparative research in Central America, Central Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, and Western borderlands, this project aims to analyse the roles that local faith communities and faith based organisations play: in supporting refugees’ access to protection; lobbying for rights; and challenging xenophobia and discrimination against different groups of refugees.