The Institute for Religion, Politics & Culture
Become More Effective in
Creating Lasting Change
Using Research, Consulting & Training to Educate Change Makers for Transformative Action
How does religion shape peoples’ politics?
Everyone knows it’s impolite to talk about religion and politics. And yet, just below the surface we have strong thoughts and opinions on both topics. The big questions of life, tied to religion and politics, influence our day-to-day lives — who we vote for, how we spend our money, and where we invest our time.
Too often change-makers dismiss religion too fast. Ignoring the way religion shapes people and politics leaves us missing half the story of social change.
Of people in the United States consider themselves as religious in some way according to Pew Research
Religion shapes our politics
in ways that are obvious (think “In God we trust”on our money, or prayers before legislative meetings),
and ways that are hidden below the surface (such as core sets of values like “Protestant work ethic” or “family values”.)
These are not simply words – rather these ideas impact all of us– benefiting some and harming others.
When it comes down to it we cannot separate our understandings of religion (or God) from our other values, thoughts, and opinions. As a person approaches a political candidate or ballot topic, their support (or lack thereof) is based on those understandings. This is the case for Evangelicals, Buddhists, Atheists, and the ‘Nones.’ This is the case for all of us.
Leading Transformative Action
Using research, consulting, training, and creative content development we educate change makers to become more effective in leading transformative action.
We help people understand how religion and politics intersect — within our national identity and structures and our individual ideologies and beliefs.
We work with a variety of change makers like:
- News and radio reporters
- Issue advocates and activists
- Religious leaders
Understanding the Intersections
Understanding the intersections of religion and politics will allow you to overcome obstacles and recognize opportunities. Moving beyond the forbidden topics, you will lean into conversations about politics and religion. And, you will become more effective at making change.
For a change-maker, understanding this reality improves your leadership. Your policies can account for different religious perspectives. Your calls for transformative change can motivate new action.
You might think, “I’m not religious, so I can’t talk about religion.” Or you might think, “religion only causes trouble, so why talk about it.” Right? Sadly, no.
Instead of dismissing religion and politics, we help you turn the tables by teaching you how to seek understanding instead of getting caught in frustration. Deepen your relationships with community members instead of getting stuck in the status quo. Inspire action for transformative social change — racial, gender, and LGBTQ equity; reproductive rights; and labor and environmental justice. Religion and politics weave together. Find a path that engages those intersections instead of denying or ignoring them.
Why the Institute for Religion, Politics & Culture
The Institute for Religion, Politics, & Culture is a resource for change-makers. We are a combination of a think tank, an academic institution, and an advocacy partner. We offer resources through intentional research, consulting partnerships, educational opportunities, and creative content.
Rev. Amanda Henderson
Director, Executive Director of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and Ordained Minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Dennis Saavedra Carquin-Hamichand
Discovery: What is the change you are working for?
Through this process, we get to know one another and dig into the disconnect between the way things are and the way you want things to be. We will go over initial ideas on what is needed to get from here to there.
Strategy Planning: How did we get here? And how do we get from here to there?
Through this process we look at the full picture, with specific attention to the ways religion– both ideas and communities– shape the change you are trying to make. We explore the history on your specific issue, in your specific context, and bring in our expertise to build a plan for action.
Change-Making: Let’s do this.
This is where we engage in the work of embarking on new paths with informed and creative communication. We participate in the long-haul work of social change more grounded, informed, and strategic. We call upon a new understanding of the ways religion and politics come together to shape perspectives and institutions– so we can become effective change-makers.
Based on your needs the following services can be combined and personalized to reach your goals.
Schedule a complimentary consultation with The Institute of Religion, Politics, and Culture. Understanding how religion and politics connect for yourself, your staff, and the people you represent will directly fuel the social change you’re seeking to lead.
ResearchWe dive deeper into the details of religious influence on political ideas through academic research.
- Values to Action research
- NIMBY Case Studie
- Scholar round table
ConsultingWe partner with advocates, legislators, and candidates running for office to put into practice the learnings from our research.
- Religious Equality Caucus
- Colorado Center for Law and Policy
- Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
EducationTrainings of different formats break the broad strokes of these implications into practices you can put in place today.
- Training in your organization
Creative CommunicationEngage and share the day-to-day specifics of the intersection of politics and religion.
- Complexify, our podcast on religion and politics, and the messy spaces of making change
- White papers