India China Institute to Investigate the Intersection of Himalayan Religion, Politics, and the Environment with Luce Foundation Grant

The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded the India China Institute (ICI) a $394 thousand grant to support Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya,, a multi-year research and academic initiative that will explore the complex role of religion in global affairs, with a particular emphasis on environmental issues.

Though there has been growing academic interest in examining the relationships between religion and the environment and religion and global governance, there has been limited scholarship and research on the effect of religion on local environmental policy and international development. As home to a rich diversity of religious tradition and a focal point in the current discussion on climate change, the Himalaya serves as an ideal setting for the project.

The growing challenge surrounding sustainable environments in the Himalaya transcends national and disciplinary boundaries,, said Ashok Gurung, senior director of ICI. The Luce Foundation’s grant will allow ICI to convene a new global community of scholars and experts from the U.S., India, China, and their neighbors, who will better articulate pertinent questions and policy concerns surrounding ‘Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya.’,

In providing a platform for scholars, practitioners, and students to engage in critical inquiry, fieldwork, and teaching, ICI aims to create a vehicle for action. Findings from fieldwork and applied research will be disseminated through published reports, a portal on the ICI website, and through public programs and international conferences in the U.S., India, China, and other countries in the Himalaya region. Beyond the university’s academic enterprise, the availability of this knowledge will contribute to the ability of individuals, institutions, and communities within the region to engage and address contemporary issues of global, sustainable environmental policymaking.