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Funder: National Science Foundation

Misson: The role of religion in fostering conflict, from the more civil to the more violent, has become increasingly apparent in the contemporary world. Questions surrounding this topic are numerous and wide-ranging. Does religion necessarily foster conflict, even violence? What conditions (cultural, psychological, social, economic, political) tend to foster religious conflict? Is there any significant difference between religious conflict/violence and other forms of group conflict/violence?

There is a significant need to bring a variety of disciplinary perspectives together to explore the intersections of religion, conflict, and violence. Emerging from an interdisciplinary seminar on these issues, the aim of this working group is to generate a set of theories, frameworks and proposals that investigate, in a coordinated and complementary way, issues related to why, how, and under what circumstances religion contributes to intergroup conflict, on the one hand, and intergroup peace, on the other. The project aims to develop a theory- and data-based model of the factors and processes that create conflict. It then "injects" into this model a consideration of how religious discourse, practice, community, and institutions may facilitate or inhibit these conflict mechanisms. The goal is a conceptual model, representing an interlinked set of hypotheses, that offers predictions about where, how, under what circumstances, and for whom religion-influenced conflict could emerge.

 Project Director and Principal Investigator

Steven Neuberg, Professor of Pyschology

Project Team and Co-PIs

Benjamin Broome, Professor of Communications

Roger Millsap, Professor of Pyschology

David Schaefer, Assistant Professor of Social and Family Dynamics

Thomas Taylor, Associate Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

George Thomas, Professor of Global Studies

Carolyn Warner, Professor of Political Science

Michael Winkelman, Associate Professor of Human Evolution and Social Change

Outcomes       Publications