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Religion is an important social force and, according to Princeton sociologist, Robert Wuthnow, “the most understudied social phenomenon of the 20th century.”  At the RPLP, we are granting religion the scholarly and public attention it merits.


Located at Rice University in one of the most culturally diverse and religious metropolitan areas in the country…


the RPLP brings people together to discuss...


and to connect.

Fall 2014 Team

With friends and partners in the academic and religious communities and the broader public, the RPLP team is shaping the way religion is understood today.

Welcome from the Director

Greetings from the Religion and Public Life Program, where we are working with people like you to facilitate informed dialogue about religion among scholars, community leaders, and members of the broader public. Located at Rice University in one of the most diverse and religious metropolitan areas in the country, we enjoy an ideal context in which to examine the impact of religion on civil society. Funded by multi-million dollar grants, the RPLP conducts research, trains scholars, and offers programs that advance dialogue about religion in the public sphere.
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 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 learn more about our important work and how you can get involved, and look forward to connecting with you soon.
With best wishes,
Elaine Howard Ecklund
Founding Director and Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Sociology, Rice University


Catholicism and Science Conference »

Co-sponsored by the Center for Faith and Culture at University of St. Thomas

How do contemporary Catholics in the US today understand the relationship between science and religion? How do the attitudes of Catholics on various science-related issues, e.g. reproductive technologies, compare to those of the general American public? We will address these questions and others by examining data from the Religious Understandings of Science (RUS) study.

Tuesday, April 14, 6:00pm • Jones Hall, University of St. Thomas campus • Register now

January 2015 Newsletter »  

The latest newsletter from the Religion and Public Life Program is now available online.

In the News »  

Read what others are saying about RPLP, our director, and our research.