Monthly Archives: February 2016

Call for Papers and Registration Open: ‘Reconsidering Religious Radicalism’

5 Feb. 2016 – CIRIS is pleased to release a call for papers for its 21st May conference on ‘Reconsidering Religious Radicalism’. The conference will explore the substance and semantics of ‘radicalism’ across religious traditions. Those interested in giving a paper at the conference should submit an abstract by the 11th of March. Please click here for the call for papers. Click here to register.

Keynote speakers:
Lord Maurice Glasman – Lecturer in Political Theory, Director of Faith & Citizenship Programme, London Metropolitan University
Prof Nicholas Adams – Professor of Philosophical Theology, University of Birmingham
Prof Peter Mandaville – Senior Advisor, US State Department Office of Religion & Global Affairs; Professor of Government and Politics, George Mason University
Prof Mona Siddiqui, OBE – Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies, University of Edinburgh

This interdisciplinary conference will be hosted by CIRIS at Clare College, Cambridge, and is generously co-sponsored by the Cambridge Interfaith Programme, the Woolf Institute, and the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics. Initial funding for the conference was provided by the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Cambridge.

Birdsall in Washington Post: ‘Donald Trump would enrage Christianity’s earliest followers’

(Note: this article was originally published online at the Washington Post on 26 Jan. 2016)


Donald Trump has recently taken flak for a botched reference to “Two Corinthians” at Liberty University, where he pledged to “protect Christianity,” but he might consider reading the book of Acts, where he’ll find characters who display Trump-style attitudes and tactics. I’m referring not to the apostles, mind you, but to their persecutors.

(Note to Trump: Acts is the New Testament, right after the four Gospels. It’s about the dramatic advance of Christianity against many obstacles; it’s a book for winners! And with 28 chapters, it’s much bigger than Second Corinthians. It’s huuuge!)

While feigning Christian devotion, Trump has become a religious demagogue of truly biblical proportions.

Such is the power of The Donald these days that during my pastor’s recent sermon on Paul and Silas in Philippi in Acts 16, all I could think about was how well the passage offers a first century version of Trump’s brand of petty scapegoating and ugly nationalism — even packaged with the same cowardly use of plausible deniability.

Continue reading at the Washington Post

News & Events

24th Apr 2018

CIRIS Research Associate Leor Zmigrod Publishes Paper on Psychology of Brexit Voting

CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Leor Zmigrod has published a paper on the psychological processes that give rise to nationalistic ideologies in the context of the United Kingdom’s 2016 EU Referendum. The research identified cognitive information processing styles that contribute towards support for Brexit and opposition to immigration and free movement of labour. Specifically, the findings […]



21st Feb 2018

Interview: Christopher Douglas on ‘Religion and Fake News’

In January 2018 CIRIS released a fascinating new report by Prof Chris Douglas on religion and fake news. The report explores the religious dimension of fake news in both Europe and the United States and offers recommendations for how policymakers and other leaders can fight back against faith-based fake news. Christopher Douglas teaches American literature and […]


Our Work

Equipping academics

At CIRIS, we aim to equip students and scholars in Cambridge and beyond with a robust and nuanced appreciation for the role of religion in international politics that they will take with them into their future research and/or practice around the world. To this end, we host public lectures, academic seminars, and other events. We are also pursuing research projects that draw on the contributions of Cambridge-based academics.

Engaging the public

We use our platform at Cambridge to influence the public conversation on matters of faith and politics—in the UK and around the world. CIRIS enjoys strong links to key governments, media outlets, religious groups, NGOs, civic leaders, and scholars. We want our website and social media platforms to provide a dynamic space for disseminating and discussing the contributions of our staff, associates, and partners.

Supporting diplomats

CIRIS serves as the secretariat for the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy (TPNRD). We facilitate communication, coordination, and collaboration among this community of diplomats from Europe and North America who have a responsibility for religion-related issues within their respective foreign ministries. The work of the TPNRD secretariat is generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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