Racio-Religious Violence and Religious Racism: Examining Contemporary Attacks on Religious Practitioners and Their Places of Worship

September–October 2021

Todne Thomas, Harvard Divinity School
Danielle Boaz
, University of North Carolina

Acts of violence against religious practitioners and their places of worship are occurring across the globe with alarming frequency and constitute an urgent social problem of our times. However, there are presently no scholarly or policy initiatives to study and address violence against religious practitioners and their places of worship from a sustained, global perspective. We propose a workshop that will begin to fill this gap by inviting scholars and activists from various religious communities with distinct areas of expertise to examine two central aspects of these attacks—racio-religious violence and religious racism. During the workshop, we will conduct a conceptual inquiry into racio-religious violence and religious racism, and a comparative discussion of case studies amongst specialists to illuminate the social forces and connective tissue that interrelate contemporary incidences of racio-religious violence and responses to them. Our primary goal for the workshop is to generate a special edition journal issue on contemporary attacks on minority religious practitioners and places of worship. In doing so, we will generate scholarship to further the study of religious racism and racio-religious violence; propose policy recommendations on how to combat these urgent problems; determine the most suitable forums to pursue these policy changes; and develop a network of scholars, activists, and policy makers who are engaged in work related to religious, racial, and spatial violence.