Monthly Archives: May 2016

CIRIS Hosts Conference on ‘Reconsidering Religious Radicalism’

On 21 May CIRIS had the pleasure of hosting a stimulating conference on ‘Reconsidering Religious Radicalism’ at Clare College, Cambridge. The conference included keynote presentations and panel discussions with a diverse range of theologians, social scientists, and practitioners. The event, which attracted over 70 participants, was generously co-sponsored by the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, the Woolf Institute, and the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics. The best papers from the conference will be published in an edited volume.

DSC_1790 _MG_7507 _MG_7513 _MG_7473 _MG_7461 _MG_7483 _MG_7499 _MG_7487

Credit for the photographs goes to Dr Charles Roddie, fellow and director of studies in economics at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

CIRIS’s Pasquale Annicchino Contributes to New Report on Religious Freedom

CIRIS senior research associate Pasquale Annicchino is featured in a new conference report on religious freedom published by Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. The report, International Religious Freedom: Toward a Model of Transatlantic Cooperation, offers a transcript of an 8 October 2015 conference at Georgetown University. Dr Annicchino’s contributions can be found on pages 38-53.

Annicchino is a Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has been adjunct professor of law at Brigham Young University Law School and a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).

Interview: Arthur Ghins on Religion, Politics, and the Brussels Attacks

AGhinsCIRIS research associate Arthur Ghins was in Brussels at the time of the recent terrorist attacks on the airport and subway. In this interview with CIRIS managing director Judd Birdsall he reflects on the religious and political dynamics of contemporary Belgium from his vantage point as both as a resident of Brussels and as a scholar of 19th century European political thought.


CIRIS: What was your immediate reaction when you heard the news about the attacks? 

Ghins: I was stunned, of course. I think the psychological impact of a terrorist attack is far greater when it happens in the town where you grew up, in places you have been to hundreds of times. Even though I had already been deeply shocked by the Paris attacks, the geographical distance had also been somehow a symbolic distance. When the attacks happened in Brussels, I thought: this is happening here and now, it’s going to have a massive impact on our daily lives.

Maybe this will sound a bit naïve, but I was also all the more astonished because I did not seriously think that Brussels was a genuine target. Perhaps in part because I thought quite cynically that terrorists would not decide to strike their “headquarters” in Europe. Sadly enough, Belgium is indeed the country in Europe that proportionally has sent the highest number of youngsters to fight for ISIS in Syria.

CIRIS: So why would the terrorists attack their own country of residence?

Continue reading

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.

Subscribe to CIRIS Updates

Clare College, Trinity Lane
Cambridge, CB2 1TL