Upcoming Events

As 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, in October CIRIS will host an evening lecture, in collaboration with the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, exploring the theme of religious liberty and the Reformation. This event is part of the Jubilee Centre’s Reformation2017 and the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

From Luther to Locke:
How Protestants Invented Religious Liberty

jrdc 2Prof John Coffey

Wednesday, 18 October, 7:00pm
Clare College, Latimer Room (map)

Register for free at Eventbrite

Abstract: According to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’. This doctrine is well-established but it only emerged after a long argument. During the Reformation, both Catholics and Protestants defended the use of force in matters of religion. Around 3000 people were executed for heresy in the half century after Luther. How then, did the doctrine of religious liberty emerge? This lecture examines the debates that raged among Protestants over liberty of conscience, showing how religious freedom slowly became a new orthodoxy.




Click here to view our past events.




News & Events

26th Sep 2017

CIRIS Research Associate Margot Dazey Awarded Fellowship at Yale

CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Margot Dazey has been awarded a Fox International Fellowship to spend the year at Yale University. Fox Fellows are selected for their potential to offer practical solutions to the problems which stand in the way of the world’s peace and prosperity. Hosted at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, […]



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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