About the project
The Orthodoxy and Human Rights Scholars Project is a five-year initiative that brings together thirty scholars and journalists from around the world with the goal of creating a more comprehensive understanding of Orthodoxy’s relationship to human rights across different geopolitical contexts.
With major support provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and additional support from Leadership 100, the Orthodox Christian Studies Center convened the first meeting of the international, interdisciplinary research project in spring 2019.
Participating scholar disciplines include theology, sociology, anthropology, and political science with expertise in diverse time periods, geographic regions, and Orthodox traditions. The project asks participating scholars to produce monographs and journal articles to fill in gaps in the current scholarship. Each of the scholars works on their own research projects from their respective disciplinary backgrounds
and areas of specialization to address questions about Orthodox and human rights pertinent to their own fields.
Scholars also meet in person once a year to promote a cross-fertilization of ideas that can help to fill out a more comprehensive understanding of Orthodoxy’s relationship to human rights across different geopolitical contexts: its history, its current state, and its theological and practical possibilities for the future. Furthermore, scholars are paired with journalists to write op-eds and other pieces in popular media. The project aims to foster greater public understanding of the topic beyond academica and to promote a more informed foreign policy towards historically Orthodox countries.
When complete, the project will offer an unprecedented inquiry into the potential for Orthodox compatibility with the doctrine of universal human rights.