News

Ansari Institute and Religions for Peace Announce Strategic Partnership

Author: Josh Stowe

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.…

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Ansari faculty fellow Karrie Koesel testifies on religious freedom in China

Author: Colleen Sharkey

Koesel Karrie Medium Feature

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.

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On Poland trip, students reflect on religion, international law, and violence

Author: Josh Stowe

Powell Narrative Empathy

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.

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Exploring Buddhism and the imagination: A conversation with faculty member Alexander Hsu

Author: Josh Stowe

Alex Hsu

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.

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Religion, identity, and peace: Learning through cultural immersion in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author: Mahan Mirza, Ansari Institute Executive Director

Mahan Bryan Martin

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.”

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How I learned to appreciate religion’s role in building peace

Author: Prithvi Iyer

Prithvi Hiking Main

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. 

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Finding hope amid the horrors of violence: Lessons from Sarajevo

Author: Allison Sharp

Allison Sharp News Image

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.

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Ansari Institute awards Nasr Book Prize to author who explores global problems using Indigenous perspectives

Author: Josh Stowe

Tysonyunkaportaweb

The Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion will honor Tyson Yunkaporta, an indigenous Australian scholar and the author of Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, as the winner of the Nasr Book Prize. Funded through the generosity of Drs. Sherif Nasr and Randa Nasr, co-founders of siParidigm Diagnostic Informatics in Pine Brook, N.J., the Nasr Book Prize highlights the work of scholars who reimagine the connection of religion and global affairs.

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Notre Dame officials call for release of Cardinal Zen, SDB, Catholic bishop emeritus of Hong Kong

Author: Notre Dame News

Feature University Seal

“We are deeply saddened to learn that Cardinal Joseph Zen, SDB, the Catholic bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, has been arrested by Chinese national security authorities for allegedly violating Hong Kong’s 2020 National Security Law. The weapon that makes a 90-year-old cleric such a threat to the Chinese Communist Party is simply this: Cardinal Zen possesses a conscience fueled by his faith."

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Ukrainian Archbishop Borys Gudziak to deliver Notre Dame’s 2022 commencement address

Author: Dennis Brown

Borys Gudziak Feature

Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak, the highest-ranking Ukrainian Catholic prelate in the United States and organizer and president of Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), will be the principal speaker and receive an honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame’s 177th University Commencement Ceremony on May 15, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today.

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Inviting students to explore religion’s roles in a complicated world

Author: Josh Stowe

Alex Hsu Class

Alex Hsu welcomes students to consider timely questions in his “Engaging Religions” course. The Ansari Institute faculty member designed the class, which he taught most recently this past spring, to be relevant to curious global affairs students seeking to make sense of a world they hope to change.

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Justice and compassion for all: Embracing multifaith inclusion in America’s heartland

Author: Charles Powell

Charles Powell 2

For the last decade, I have immersed myself in studying and subsequently developing a better understanding of and appreciation for Islam. I have traveled to Muslim-majority countries such as Bahrain and Oman and developed meaningful relationships and friendships with Muslims—many of whom refer to me as their brother. I’m very fortunate to have Muslim friends throughout the world. I’ve relished intimate tours of mosques, observed prayer times, and enjoyed countless halal dinners. Most recently, I returned from visiting newly made friends and Islamic centers in New Buffalo and Rochester, New York as well as Jacksonville, Florida. This past fall, when I learned that “The Mother Mosque of America…

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American studies professor receives NEH fellowship for book on Turkey, Iran, and the history of comparisons made between the two

Author: Josh Weinhold

Perin Gurel

Perin Gürel, a Notre Dame associate professor of American studies, has won a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Research in Turkey, in support of the completion of a book on the international history of comparisons made between Turkey and Iran. Her research will detail the history of comparisons made between Turkey and Iran, but Gürel also intends to critique the intellectual valorization of comparison itself. Sharp distinctions about areas of the world are often made, she said, despite the relatively arbitrary nature of borders between countries — not to mention the ways in which subjectively comparing one thing to another permeates other aspects of life.

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A Q&A with faculty fellow Kraig Beyerlein

Author: Josh Stowe

Kraig Beyerlein 2

Faculty fellow Kraig Beyerlein, associate professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame and director of the University’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society, discusses how he decided to study the intersection of religion and social movements, as well as his leadership on scholarly projects exploring everything from life on the US-Mexico border to under-represented congregations in Chicago.

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