News & Events

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.

CIRIS’s Pasquale Annicchino Participates in G20 Interfaith Summit

G20-Interfaith-Summit-2015-Website-Banner-copy-page-001CIRIS Senior Research Associate Pasquale Annicchino recently attended the G20 Interfaith Summit in Istanbul. As the world is still coming to grips with the tragedy of the Paris attacks, many scholars, political leaders, and leaders of NGOs and religious groups gathered in Istanbul to discuss the role of religion in economic development, islamic finance, heritage protection, and other issues.

Also in Istanbul, Annicchino participated in a workshop organised by the Grassrootmobilise reserach project  which studies the impact of the European Court of Human Rigths decisions on the protection of freedom of religion or belief.

CIRIS Director Speaks on Democracy and Religious Freedom at Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy

On 26 October 2015 CIRIS Managing Director Judd Birdsall spoke on the inseparability of religious freedom and democracy at the 4th annual Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy. In his remarks Birdsall argued that democracy and religious freedom are too often promoted in isolation from each other. And yet the example of Poland’s Catholicism-inspired transition from communism to democracy shows that religious freedom and democracy are mutually reinforcing.

Click here to read the transcript of Birdsall’s remarks.

Launched in 2012, the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy is organised by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This year the Dialogue brought together some 200 human rights activists to discuss the theme “Democracy at the crossroads? Current threats and opportunities.”


CIRIS Senior Research Associate Pasquale Annicchino Compares US and European Approaches to Religious Freedom at Georgetown University Conference

On 8 October 2015 CIRIS Senior Research Associate Pasquale Annicchino participated in a panel discussion on ‘Overcoming Differences Between Western Democracies in Developing a Common Religious Freedom Policy’ at conference at Georgetown University. Dr. Annicchino argued for a more coherent and consistent approach from Western countries and, at the same time, for serious reflection on how to enlarge the spectrum of countries and actors involved in the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief.

The conference was hosted by the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.

The YouTube video of the panel discussion is available below. Dr Annicchino’s remarks begin at 20:00.

CIRIS Director Participates in Dialogue Event with Dalai Lama, Rowan Williams


His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lord Rowan Williams at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Photo/Ian Cumming

On 16-17 September CIRIS managing director Judd Birdsall participated in a dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, hosted by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at Magdalen College, Cambridge. Organised by the Inspire Dialogue Foundation, the event focussed on the theme ‘Growing Wisdom. Changing People.’

The Dalai Lama’s official website provides further information on the event.


Birdsall Speaks on ‘Obama’s Faith in Diplomacy’ at BISA US Foreign Policy Conference

On 14 September 2015 CIRIS managing director Judd Birdsall presented a paper on ‘Obama’s Faith in Diplomacy’ at the British International Studies Association US Foreign Policy Working Group Conference. The two-day conference brought together scholars of American foreign relations from throughout the UK. In his paper Birdsall explored how President Obama’s religious views have influenced his diplomatic engagement over the past six-and-a-half years.


Andrew Preston Lectures at IISS on ‘Religion and Values in US Foreign Policy’

imagesOn 8 June 2015 CIRIS president Andrew Preston gave a lecture on “Religion and Values in US Foreign Policy” at the Institute for International and Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. The lecture was based on Dr Preston’s award-winning 2012 book, Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy.

IISS has posted on the video of Dr Preston’s lecture on their website. At the outset of his remarks, Preston introduces CIRIS and explains why we pronounce our name as “Cyrus.”

News & Events

8th Dec 2017

CIRIS Co-sponsors 2-day Workshop on ‘Islam and Space in Europe’

CIRIS Research Associates Tobias Muller and Chris Moses organised a workshop, “Religious? Secular? Re-thinking Islam and Space in Europe”,  together with Adela Taleb (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). CIRIS was one of the sponsors of the two-day event, which brought together twenty scholars from a diverse range of fields, including anthropology, political science, music, architecture, geography, sociology, criminology, […]



13th Jul 2017

CIRIS Research Associate Tobias Müller Contributes Chapter to Report on Muslims in Europe

13 July 2017 – CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Tobias Müller recently contributed a chapter in a report on Muslims in the UK and Europe published by the Centre for Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. Müller’s chapter, ‘Constructing Islam and Secularism in the German Islam Conference,’ argues that beyond the intentions expressed by government officials, the aims of the […]


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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