Religion plays a complex role in modern conflicts, serving as both an inspiration for violence and a powerful force for peace. Kroc Institute faculty and fellows have published widely on the roots of religious violence and the potential for religious communities and movements to work for peace.

The study of religion in conflict and peacebuilding has been a major focus of Kroc Institute research since 2000, when Kroc Institute director Scott Appleby invited the first of 16 scholars of religion and peacebuilding to become visiting fellows at the Kroc Institute. Many of these year-long fellowships, which resulted in a substantial body of work, were funded by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Today, about a third of the Kroc Institute’s core faculty members focus most of their research and writing on religion, conflict, and peacebuilding. The work has evolved into 3 distinct strands: Contending Modernities, which examines the interaction of religion and secular actors in the modern world; Religion & Reconciliation, which explores the concept of reconciliation as a means to help people and societies emerge from civil war, genocide, and dictatorship; and Theology & Practice of Just Peace, a complement to the theology and ethics of just war.

Kroc faculty primarily working in this area include:

Scott Appleby, professor of history, director of the Kroc Institute
Emmanuel Katongole
, associate professor of theology and peace studies
John Paul Lederach
, professor of international peacebuilding
Rashied Omar
, research scholar of Islamic studies and peacebuilding
Atalia Omer
, assistant professor of religion, conflict, and peace studies
Daniel Philpott
, professor of political science and peace studies
Gerard Powers
, director of Catholic peacebuilding studies
Jason Springs
, assistant professor of religion, ethics, and peace studies