August 2, 2004

Grants support new CISR research


By Elaine Justice

The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion and its Law and Religion Program have received three new grants totaling $580,000 to support research and service initiatives.

A grant of $500,000 from the McDonald Agape Foundation is funding a five-year project on Christian jurisprudence that will bring together a team of leading Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christian scholars to develop a dozen new volumes on historic and contemporary Christian understandings of the law. The project will feature several public forums and conferences as well as a number of public policy statements and initiatives.

The McDonald Agape Foundation is chaired by Emory trustee emeritus Alonzo McDonald. John Witte, director of CISR and the Law and Religion Program, and Frank Alexander, co-director and founder of the Law and Religion Program, will lead the project.

The Lilly Endowment is providing a $50,000 grant to develop a pair of volumes on the modern marriage movement from an interdisciplinary perspective. One volume will be a collection of writings on marriage and family by Don Browning, Woodruff Visiting Professor of Interdisciplinary Religious Studies from 2001-03. The second will be an anthology of chapters documenting the latest research in family studies from the fields of law, theology, ethics, history, anthropology, psychology, feminist studies and economics.

A third grant of $30,0000 from the Smart Growth America-National Vacant Properties Campaign will support Alexander's work in providing technical assistance to selected cities and counties on strategies for dealing with vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties. Alexander's initiative is part of a decade-long project on affordable housing, urban redevelopment and state and local housing law.