The national philanthropy world learned about Zoreen and Rafat Ansari in 2017 when they gave $15 million to the University of Notre Dame. The gift was to launch the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion, a scholarly center devoted to nurturing better understanding of the world’s religions and the roles they play in world events. To those in South Bend, Ind., however, the Ansaris have been well known as committed and reliable philanthropic leaders for four decades.
Ansari Institute Executive Director Mahan Mirza reflects on practicing his faith and being part of the Notre Dame community.
In many religions — including the Islamic and Jewish traditions — the heart is the center of thought and the seat of wisdom. And for a growing number of faculty and students of these faiths, their hearts are leading them to the University of Notre Dame.
Applications for the Rome Summer Seminars on Religion and Global Politics that will take place from June 4 to 17, 2023 in Rome are open. Graduate students working at the crossroads of religion and global politics may send their submissions by February 10…
Taras Dobko is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Senior Vice-Rector at Ukrainian Catholic University and a Nanovic Institute Visiting Scholar. Wars are not all alike. They differ in intensity, strategy, and weaponry. But ultimately, all are violent and remain an affront to human dignity, whether they are small in scale or genocide.…
Global collaboration is crucial as the world confronts multiple crises and Indigenous ways of thinking can help point the way. So argued scholars from multiple faith and philosophical traditions, who converged on the University of Notre Dame’s campus Oct. 2-3 for the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion’s inaugural Nasr Book Prize Symposium.
The Clingen Family Center for the Study of Modern Ireland, part of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, and the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion jointly hosted an October conference at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin highlighting the everyday experience of Muslims living in Ireland.…
“A Theology of Migration,” a new book by Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., vice president and associate provost for undergraduate education at the University of Notre Dame, examines the historical, philosophical and theological perspectives on migration and asks readers to reconsider their views on how to understand and respond to this global crisis.
Through a series of compelling vignettes and detailed analyses, McGreevy traces the events and trends that gave rise to the modern-day Catholic Church, one marked by an unwavering concern for social justice, unprecedented vibrancy in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and increasing global connections — and one that has significantly expanded the organizational and symbolic reach of the papacy.
We are writing this because we want Notre Dame, as a nationally ranked Catholic research university in the US that supports justice and democracy, to now support the people of Iran. After George Floyd, the University mobilized for racial justice. After Ukraine, the University has mobilized against the war. It is time for Notre Dame to stand with Iranians crying out for justice. Iranian lives matter, too.
The Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion is partnering with Religions for Peace, the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious movement advancing common action for peace. The partnership will allow the two organizations to work together on joint educational initiatives, collaborate on projects designed to advance understanding of interreligious work, and research multi-religious collaborative programs on human rights, peace and security, and sustainable development at various country levels.…
The associate professor will testify on the People’s Republic of China’s strategies for asserting party control over religion, especially through sinicization, which calls on religious believers to integrate party loyalty into all aspects of religious life. She'll offer recommendations for how Congress and the Biden administration can effectively advocate for freedom of religion in China.
This summer, Charles W. Powell and Emilia Justyna Powell taught a summer study abroad course that challenged students to learn about atrocities such as genocide and crimes against humanity—including the Holocaust—in the context of international law, and to explore the role religion has played in international law.
In June, Ansari Institute faculty member Alexander Hsu attended “The Imagination and Imaginal Worlds in the Mirror of Buddhism,” a two-week summer institute offered through the National Endowment for the Humanities. The gathering, held at Mangalam Research Center in Berkeley, Calif., featured a mix of scholarly presentations, Q&A with faculty, and breakout sessions, all built around the concepts of Buddhism and imagination. Here, Hsu reflects on the experience, and the inspiration he drew from it as a scholar of Buddhism—and as a teacher.
In this conversation, Office Coordinator Erica Loding shares how her faith and focus on human rights connect with her work at the Ansari Institute. She also discusses the opportunities her role provides to help people from different faith traditions come together in dialogue to promote human flourishing.
A group of Notre Dame and Bosnian students used a May 18-28 trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina to study religion, identity, and peacebuilding. See photos of their journey, and read reflections from participants.
During our May student trip to Sarajevo, Amra, one of our discussion facilitators, laughed, cigarette dangling from her lips, as she likened the city to a femme fatale—alluring, but with a dark side. It was, we soon learned, an apt description for a lovely and complicated city, one that has been simultaneously strengthened and scarred by its history. Our group, which included fourteen students from Notre Dame was drawn to Sarajevo to study “Religion, Identity, and Peace and the Periphery of Europe.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a place I had ever pictured myself visiting. This small country in the Balkans had quite simply never captured my imagination. Its allure was less obvious to me, unlike that of western European countries such as France and Switzerland that are often romanticized in globalized pop culture. But thanks to a student trip made possible by the University of Notre Dame and Peace Catalyst International, I recently visited the country—not as a tourist, but as a student of peacebuilding who gained a new appreciation for the role of religion in peace processes and reconciliation.
I applied to Notre Dame’s faculty-led trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina this summer because I wanted to learn more about a part of Europe that is often left out of history books and course syllabi. I wanted to educate myself on the rich history of the country, and the current situation in regards to peacebuilding. This trip did help me accomplish those goals, but the most impactful part of the journey was actually a conversation about my own country.
In an opinion piece for The Hill, Executive Director Mahan Mirza critiques US rhetoric about democracy and calls for a sustainable foreign policy that addresses today’s big challenges.