Category Archives: Notes

Public Religion Research Institute

PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy.

PRRI’s research explores and illuminates America’s changing cultural, religious, and political landscape. PRRI’s mission is to help journalists, scholars, pundits, thought leaders, clergy, and the general public better understand debates on public policy issues, and the important cultural and religious dynamics shaping American society and politics.

Robert P. Jones, Ph.D. – CEO


Beyond Faith-Based Organizations: Religion and NGOs in comparative perspective

“Religious NGOs play significant roles in service delivery, community organization, advocacy and mediating flows of information and resources across the globe. Their religious inflections can both enhance the effective reach of particular projects and complicate the already fraught policy environment in which NGOs operate.While policy frameworks influence the kinds of activities that religious NGOs are able to undertake and aim to govern practice, the way this takes place in context is an empirical question. In this interview, we talk with Erica Bornstein about…” [go to site]

Alfred Stepan’s legacy

by Jeremy Menchik

“Alfred Stepan’s death left a gaping hole in the academy and the world. A giant in the field of comparative politics, Al (as he was known to friends) was an even more powerful force in the world of democratic development, having dedicated much of his life to understanding the forces that lead to democratic transition, democratic consolidation, and democratic breakdown.

Readers of The Immanent Frame are likely to be familiar with his work on religion, including his influential article, “Religion, Democracy and the ‘Twin Tolerations.’” Yet, although he worked closely with Father Theodore Hesburgh on the elimination of nuclear weapons in the 1980s, Al came to the academic study of religion relatively late in his career having already authored or coauthored ten books on the military, authoritarianism, and democratic transition and consolidation. As a result, Al brought a distinctive ethical sensibility to the study of religion and politics. In this essay I want to elucidate that sensibility since it is central to his legacy. ….” full article

APSR Article: Taking Religion Seriously? Habermas on Religious Translation and Cooperative Learning in Post-secular Society

by Giorgi Areshidze, Associate Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College.


This article evaluates Jürgen Habermas’s attempt to reopen political liberalism to religion. In trying to “take religion seriously,” Habermas goes further than John Rawls and other liberal theorists by affirming that religious traditions articulate truths on which democratic societies continue to depend for their civic and moral health. “Post-secular” societies, in his view, should learn from religion by translating its “moral intuitions” into universal secular language. Although Habermas in this way appears friendlier to religion than Rawls, unlike Rawls he also calls for the “modernization of religious consciousness.” This theological transformation not only reveals the foundationalist presuppositions of liberalism, but also points to a highly attenuated conception of learning from religion. Taking religion seriously will require us to be open to its insights not only when they agree with, but especially when they challenge, our secular presuppositions. This dimension of religion is at risk of getting “lost in translation” in the Habermasian paradigm.

Link to Article on Cambridge Core