Recent research challenges an earlier generation’s expectations that the world is becoming increasingly secular. On the contrary, religion not only endures but thrives at the very heart of modern and modernizing societies. At the same time, secular modes of reasoning and development inform daily life everywhere.

Contending Modernities is a multi-year, interdisciplinary research and education initiative, co-directed by Scott Appleby and Ebrahim Moosa, in partnership with secular and religious institutions and individuals from around the world. The project seeks to generate new knowledge and greater understanding of the ways in which religious and secular forces interact in the modern world and to advance collaboration for the common good.

Contending Modernities aspires eventually to engage all the major world religions, but it begins with Islam and Roman Catholicism. In addition to their sheer scope and size — encompassing the globe and claiming some 40 percent of the world’s population — these global religions antedated, helped constitute, and have been shaped by the developments associated with modernity.

Contending Modernities examines how these two traditions have understood, accommodated, altered, and resisted the radical transformations that have characterized the modern world.