December 6, 2019
Contact: Amy Parker
American Academy of Religion
Atlanta, Georgia: The American Academy of Religion (AAR) has been awarded a three-year, $1M grant from The Henry Luce Foundation to advance public scholarship.
“We are pleased and encouraged that The Henry Luce Foundation has chosen to support this initiative around public scholarship, which is an important aspect of our mission,” said Dr. Alice Hunt, AAR Executive Director. “The generosity of this grant will enable deeper engagement among our members and foster relationships with various publics that can benefit from the incredible expertise AAR members possess.”
Through this grant, the AAR will build on the early momentum of Reading Religion, its publicly accessible book review site, by increasing user engagement through several new initiatives, including the creation of a journalist-friendly hub that connects media professionals with scholars of religion. The grant will also establish a working group to explore and recommend opportunities for advancing public scholarship and assess the risks and challenges involved with such pursuits. Finally, the grant will allow the AAR to offer mini-grants to AAR members doing public scholarship.
“We are inspired by the support of The Henry Luce Foundation and look forward to all we will learn as we work together,” stated Hunt.
About the American Academy of Religion: Established in 1909, the American Academy of Religion is the world’s largest organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the academic study of religion, serving more than 8,000 religion scholars around the globe. The AAR is not a faith-based organization. The expertise of its membership spans virtually all religions, and the AAR neither endorses nor condemns any religious belief or practice. As articulated in its newly revised mission statement—to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion—the AAR seeks to advance and disseminate exceptional scholarship and teaching. The AAR holds an Annual Meeting with the Society of Biblical Literature that is attended by more than 10,000 scholars and seeks to serve its members and the public year-round.