Greetings from the Religion and Public Life Program, where we are working with people like you to facilitate informed dialogue about religion among scholars, faith community leaders, and members of the broader public. Located at Rice University in one of the most culturally diverse and religious metropolitan areas in the country, we enjoy an ideal context in which to examine the impact of religion on civil society. In many ways Houston is experiencing today what the rest of the country will experience tomorrow, and our location positions us at the leading edge of scholarly work on the role of religion in the changing landscape of urban America. But our work and our vision extends far beyond our local context; funded by multi-million dollar grants, we have teams of researchers studying the relationship between religion and science across the country and around the world. RPLP researchers are also studying religion and civic life among several immigrant groups and are engaged in research focused on the role of religion in issues concerning gender, medicine, and other social spheres. Drawing on the expertise of some of the world’s foremost experts in religion, the resources of a premier research university, and the enthusiasm of concerned community members in Houston and beyond, the RPLP is preparing scholars and other citizens to dispel myths and resolve conflicts associated with religion. We invite you to explore the website and learn more about our important work and how you can get involved, and we look forward to connecting with you soon.
With best wishes,
Elaine Howard Ecklund
Founding Director and Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Sociology, Rice University