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Institute on Religion in an Age of Science

Call for Proposals

We & They: Cross Cultural Conversations on Identity

“Who am I? How do I fit into the world around me? How am I different?” Questions like these are central to the elusive notion of identity—to how we establish and maintain perceptions of “self” and “other,” “we” and “they.”  Identifying ourselves and others in categories defined by gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, economic status, physical and mental abilities, and other markers stimulate a sense of “we-consciousness.” They influence our choices about who we trust and consider part of our “tribe,” in biological, socio-cultural, and “ultimate” terms. How we perceive and enact our identities influences how we love, create, and discover, and whether we construct systems of oppression and war.

Through multi-religious and scientific frameworks including biological, psychological, sociological, and anthropological considerations, this conference will explore core concepts of identity.  We invite you to engage in cross-cultural conversations and participate in envisioning a global cultural transformation in which the presence of diversity need not provoke disharmony.

We encourage professionals across disciplines to submit proposals for papers that address the theme topic. Possible areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Are there prevailing scientific understandings of self, and if so, what are they?
  • How do specific world religious traditions understand individual and social identities and otherness?
  • In our dynamically interconnected global society, how can science and religion help us comprehend the limitations and purposes of identity?
  • What influences the formation of blind spots and biases? How can we engage in cross cultural conversations that transcend the “allergy to the other,” increase respect and understanding, and contribute to justice and peacemaking?


  • Proposals for panels and short papers on the topic or other facets of interaction between religion and science are invited. Please summit a 500 word abstract along with author details by February 7, 2022
  • Submit your abstract at:
  • Email Question to Dr. C. J. Love: 

Conference Program Chairs: Anindita N. Balslev, C.J. Love, & Jennifer Whitten

Statement of Purpose

IRAS cultivates a community of informed and respectful inquiry and dialogue at the intersections of science with religion, spirituality, and philosophy in service of global, societal and personal well-being.





Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection