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Religion and World Politics

Woman Putting Vote in Voting Box in Turkey

Around the world, religious actors and institutions have gained political influence, marshaling religious arguments to justify their activities. Moreover, religion has inspired a multitude of world events, ranging from horrific terrorist acts to altruistic responses to the refugee crisis. These resources consider how religious beliefs and actors influence political activity throughout societies.

Our Experts

Judd Birdsall headshot

Judd Birdsall

Senior Fellow
Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Jocelyne Cesari headshot

Jocelyne Cesari

Senior Fellow
Department of Government

David Hollenbach headshot

David Hollenbach

Senior Fellow
Walsh School of Foreign Service and Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Project Spotlight

Turkish flag and bullhorn on pole in front of a mosque

The Geopolitics of Religious Soft Power

This project will explore the global impact of transnational religious propagation activities sponsored by several countries in the Middle East which for decades have deployed religion as a form of soft power in pursuit of their evolving foreign policy and other objectives.

Current and Past Projects

Chinese Women Wearing White and Holding Candles

Religion in China and the United States

From 2006 to 2018 the Religion in China and the United States project sought to promote dialogue, improve understanding, and inform better policy on key issues in U.S.-China relations, including religious freedom and the changing role of religion in world affairs.

Religion and World Politics A-Z Subtopics

Narrow your search for Religion and World Politics content by selecting from this list of subtopics


Book June 4, 2024

Exiting Violence: The Role of Religion

This volume, edited by Debora Tonelli and Gerard Mannion, offers a nuanced and thought-provoking exploration of the multifaceted role religion plays in the human struggle for peace and justice.

Blog Posts


Discover the firsthand experiences of faith leaders, activists, and peacebuilding practitioners working on issues ranging from development and education to conflict resolution and foreign policy.

For over a decade, Berkley Center scholars and students have been conducting interviews with individuals working at the intersection of religion and world affairs. These discussions offer unique insights into the inner workings of a wide spectrum of professions touched by religion with interviewees ranging from the highest levels of leadership of international organizations to on-the-ground practitioners. Explore individual interviews here or follow links to our interview collections below:

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