At its core, Religion and Public Life is about enhancing the public understanding of religion in the service of building a just world at peace. RPL provides an umbrella for programs, research, and scholarship that explore the ways that religion is entwined with social, political, and economic dimensions of human experience and the institutions that structure human interaction. We provide a framework for students across disciplines and professionals in a wide array of fields and to better understand the destructive as well as the creative power of religion in unique contexts.
RPL’s academic offerings provide students with the theoretical frameworks and critical approaches needed to understand and address the religious dimensions of the most intractable issues of our time. In addition, RPL supports a broad range of programming within and beyond HDS, inspiring fresh approaches to conflict transformation, education, and a range of other fields. Beyond these pillars, RPL is a space to convene discussions and support projects on religion, power, justice, sustainability, health, and many more critical aspects of public life, both literally in the newly renovated Swartz Hall on Harvard’s campus and figuratively by providing a framework and support for faculty, staff, and students to collaborate on these compelling issues.