ExploringMyReligion.org is brought to you by the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion
(IBCSR), a research institute dedicated to the study of
religion using multiple academic disciplines. IBCSR emphatically isn't pro-religion or anti-religion, and does not represent any particular religious or secular perspective. IBCSR receives no funding from any religious or ideologically aligned source and intentionally seeks out consultation and advisement from experts with diverse religious and political opinions to supplement the variety represented by our team members.
ExploringMyReligion.org is partially funded through the generous support of Boston University's School of Theology and its Dean, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore. It is also partially funded through the generous support of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations by means of a grant given to Dean Moore that supports AVDF's LINC Initiative (Learning in a Nexus of Communities), focused on research and contextual engagement.
ExploringMyReligion.org collaborates with a wide range of researchers. For example, this site includes surveys used in the Spectrums Project, which focuses on the differences between conservative and liberal forms of religion, with an eye toward learning how the different positions might complement, rather than merely contradict, one another. The broader goals of the Spectrums Project include developing an understanding-based empathy across seemingly opposed religious perspectives, so that people who are religious in different ways - or not religious at all - can see each other as worthy contributors to debate and conversation. We're convinced that such understanding-based empathy is a necessary first step to overcoming the stereotypes, ideological defensiveness, and lack of awareness that often hurt today's public conversations about religion. Our alternative vision is of a highly informed, sensitive, and self-aware public dialogue, in which religious perspectives are taken seriously without being exempt from critical analysis. And the way to get such a dialogue started is to find out how, why, and in what ways people believe what they believe.
There are other research projects supported on this site as well but the Spectrums Project gives you an idea of the kinds of collaborations that IBCSR supports. If you are interested in speaking with IBCSR about a collaboration, or if you have technical problems with this site, please contact us.
Researchers Involved in ExploringMyReligion.org
Wesley J. Wildman
is Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics at the Boston University School of Theology. Dr. Wildman's research interests focus on philosophy of religion, ethics, and the scientific study of religion. He is particularly interested in what light can be shed on religious behaviors, beliefs, and experiences from the biological and human sciences. He is co-founder of the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion
, a research institute dedicated to the scientific study of religion (see the Institute's outreach site at ScienceOnReligion.org
), and co-founder of the flagship academic journal in the bio-cultural study of religion, Religion, Brain & Behavior
. More information about Dr. Wildman is available here
Catherine Caldwell-Harris is associate professor of psychology at Boston University. Her research interests include language acquisition, cross-cultural psychology, and atheism studies. She has recently investigated the differences in religious beliefs between autistic persons and neurotypical populations. Dr. Caldwell-Harris is interested both in the role religious practices and beliefs play in human social groups and in contemporary society, and in the cognitive and social processes that give rise to and support religious belief.
Aimee S. Radom
is a psychotherapist with a PhD from Boston University, currently working at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute in Manhattan. Dr. Radom's primary research interests include the relationship between religious ideology and personality. Her dissertation used structural equation modeling to explore differences in cognitive and personality style among religious conservatives and religious liberals. She is a postdoctoral fellow with the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion.
is a social psychologist and consultant whose research interests include moral psychology, political orientation, data science, and consumer psychology. He currently holds a research position with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and is cofounder of the moral psychology website YourMorals.org
. Dr. Iyer also directs the website CivilPolitics.org
, which is a public forum for reformulating the tenor and terms of public conversation on politics and ideology.
Nancy T. Ammerman is a sociologist of religion who studies American religion, especially in congregational life. Her work at ExploringMyReligion.org is focused on the multidimensional meaning of spirituality. She is currently Professor of Sociology in Boston University's Sociology Department and Professor of Sociology of Religion in Boston University's School of Theology.
Steven J. Sandage is a psychologist of religion who studies forgiveness, virtue ethics, spiritual formation, and correctional psychology. Dr. Sandage is an expert in the study of religious orientation, or the different styles of religious commitment. He is currently a professor of marriage and family therapy at Bethel University in St. Paul.
Jesse Graham is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California. His research specialty is moral psychology, including the study of conservative/liberal differences in moral intuitions. Dr. Graham has training in philosophy and theology, making him an ideal collaborator for the research behind ExploringMyReligion.org.
Connor Wood is a doctoral student in religion and science at Boston University. His research interests include religion, science, and medicine, the conservative/liberal spectrum in politics and religion, and the scientific study of religion.
Nicholas C. DiDonato is a doctoral student at Boston University, also in religion and science. He holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and is primarily interested in developing a workable public theology for a scientific age.