In its quest to deepen the understanding of religion in world affairs, the Henry Luce Foundation has made a gift to the Religion and Globalisation cluster of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Asia Research Institute (ARI). The gift will support an international conference organised by the ARI – Religion and the Politics of Development: Priests, Potentates and “Progress” – and a one-day design workshop following the conference.
The Henry Luce Foundation, established in 1936 by Mr Henry R. Luce in honour of his parents who were missionary educators in China, aims to strengthen international understanding and cultivate innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities. To this end, the Foundation has set up several grant-making programmes to support areas such as American art, Asian studies, religion and international affairs, theology, and public policy, to name a few.
Through this international conference and workshop, the ARI seeks to establish a multi-year research programme that will enable scholars, development policymakers and practitioners to better understand and engage with the diverse roles of religion and religious organisations in development, poverty alleviation and humanitarian response in contemporary Asia.
On the Henry Luce Foundation’s gift, Senior Research Fellow at the ARI Dr Robin Bush says, “This area of research is particularly important in Asia, where diverse religious traditions play prominent social and political roles in many countries, and where disasters and poverty pose dramatic challenges to social and political stability, as well as to economic development. We are grateful for the generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation as we seek to develop new models for understanding these complex developments in this dynamic part of the contemporary world.
“This support from the Foundation will allow us to bring leading scholars from the United States and Europe into dialogue with their counterparts in Asia to build upon some of the important advances in this field over the past decade.”
The Religion and Globalisation cluster at the ARI is committed to examining the diverse ways in which modernisation and globalisation have re-framed the ways in which religion is experienced and understood in contemporary Asia.