News from
Office of Communications
Stanhope Hall, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5264
Telephone 609-258-3601; Fax 609-258-1301

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-5748

June 16, 2000

Princeton University Wins Grant to Study Religion, Race and Gender

Princeton, N.J. -- The Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University has received a $120,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to explore the vital connections between religion, race and gender.

The grant will be used to host meetings on the topic, bring guest lecturers to campus and support a postdoctoral fellow, Marla Frederick from Duke University, who will spend her year at Princeton writing a book about contemporary African-American spirituality and social activism in the South.

"We know that race and gender have been important considerations in all religious traditions. Certainly this has been true in our own nation’s history," said Professor Robert Wuthnow, the center’s director. "The same is true whether one is studying early Christianity, medieval Buddhism, or contemporary Islam."

The center’s associate director, Marie Griffith, a historian of American religion, expects participants will examine the ways in which African-American religion was a force for progressive social change during the twentieth century.

The grant is part of a larger Ford Foundation initiative to support research and action-oriented projects that show how religion is changing in response to America’s increasing cultural pluralism.

Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion was founded in 1999 to assist the more than 50 faculty members in the humanities and social sciences who teach and write about religion. It sponsors annual thematic projects, freshman seminars, public lectures, and an interdisciplinary seminar.