The CSRP was founded in November 2004 at the University of St Andrews. It is located within St Mary’s College and the School of Divinity.

Founded by academics from the Schools of Divinity, International Relations, Modern Languages, and Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies, the current director is Mario I. Aguilar, Professor of Religion and Politics.

Epistemological context

The study of religion and politics has dominated many of the contemporary research projects within Divinity, with ‘theology as a narrative’ expressing the epistemological paradigm. Thus, theology constitutes a narrative by human communities involved in their daily ritual practices (‘religion’) that interact with larger social, economic and political contexts.

Within Divinity, this approach presupposes religious practices be understood through interpretive models and social epistemologies in constant interaction with political models of governance in society.

Aims and objectives

Research that is collaborative, international, and funded.

Collaborative means exploring the relations between

  • religious practice and its political contexts (such as theologies as religious narratives of religious communities in their social and political contexts)
  • religious and political histories
  • theology and history
  • historical Christian Churches and their religious and political contexts in Latin America, Africa and Asia
  • history of world religions and their social and political contexts (such as indigenous religious narratives in indigenous rights, political activism and new religious movements)

International means cooperative research groups in

  • LINK Scotland-Colombia, highlighting the indigenous religion and political processes in Colombia

Led by Dr Ann Mitchell, Honorary Fellow in Divinity, and funded by the Darwin Initiative of the UK government. Institutes: Universities of St Andrews, Strathclyde, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) and Universidad Nacional (Colombia)

  •  Memoria y olvido international research group, highlighting the social history of Latin America and the relation between religion and politics under military regimes

Led by Professor Mario I. Aguilar and comprising of researchers from the UK, France, Mexico, Chile, and the USA

Led by Professor Mario I. Aguilar

Led by Dr Eric Stoddart, Associate Director of the CSRP

Funded means projects actively pursuing funding, including

  • Religion and Politics in XX Century Latin America

A large project on religion and politics in Latin America during the 20th century, particularly on the history of the Church and the nation/state. The goal is to secure a research partner in every country in South America and funding for PhD scholarships and research fellowships.

  •  Religion and Politics in the World Religions

A project on the issues of religion and politics in Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, and their implications for the relation of those religious communities within Scottish life.

  •  a series of seminars at the University of St Andrews, occasional papers and an annual conference exploring a relevant topic