Our overall plan is to build upon the our previous initiative in Religion, Economics, and Society. We aim to produce new research findings, new researchers, and continued growth in the fledgling field of RES. Our overall objective is to better understand how religious markets, institutions, and governance influence social-economic welfare and how religious markets and capital change over time.

We focus on five key questions: (1) What new methods can most effectively advance the study of religious markets? (2) What types of religious environments and institutions routinely promote human welfare and progress? (3) How have past religious settings and institutions affected modern-day welfare? (4) How does religious commitment related to scientific thought and knowledge? (5) What new theories and data contribute most to the study of RES?

Our activities will include: (1) innovative research projects, (2) a pioneering survey, (3) training workshops for graduate students, and (4) a conference and edited conference volume.

Our primary goal is to produce and promote cutting-edge research that helps explain the impact of religion on all facets of society. Hence, our principal outputs will be articles published in major academic journals – written by ourselves, our students, and the many scholars and students participating in our workshops - as well as an edited volume on the economics of religion. We also plan to disseminate our findings broadly – through public lectures, ARDA learning modules, and accessible publications for policy centers, religious leaders, and the popular press.

The economics of religion scarcely existed prior to the late-1990s. With Templeton’s help, we have done much to build that field and maintain its links to sociology and political science. Our ultimate goal is nothing less than a new and self-sustaining “ecology” for the study of religion, economics, and society.