Religion Matters

On the Significance of Religion in Global Issues

Religion Matters. On the Significance of Religion in Global Issues is an interdisciplinary, interreligious book series (with Routledge Press) edited by Christine Schliesser (University of Zurich University / University of Fribourg, Switzerland), Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana (Georgetown University, USA) and Pauline Kollontai (York St. John University, UK). The volumes of this book series systematically examine the significance of religion on global issues as addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

While Max Weber’s pronouncement of a “disenchantment of the world” influenced much of public and academic thought for the past decades, an alternative perception has emerged in recent years. Policy makers, academics and practitioners worldwide increasingly pay attention to the role of religion in global issues. Some even speak of a “desecularization of the world” (Berger 1999). 

This book series systematically examines the significance of religion on global issues as addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Based on the conviction that not one single faith tradition or discipline can adequately address the complexity of the issues, its thoroughly interreligious and interdisciplinary outlook is already manifested in the main editors. The insights from other religious traditions and academic disciplines are being brought in throughout the series as each volume is written jointly by a team of authors.

The series “Religion Matters” provides cutting edge scholarship in a concise format (100-120 pages/40,000-45,000 words/volume) and accessible language, thereby addressing academics, practitioners and policy makers. By transferring academic knowledge and including the insights of practitioners and policy makers, “Religion Matters” helps to overcome the barriers between all three spheres of action. For it is only the joint effort of academics, practitioners and policy makers that can make an impact of global issues.

  • Research outputs
    Upcoming Volumes

    Topic: Religion Matters for Deliberative Democracy

    Lead Author: Ruby Quanton, Kettering Foundation


    Topic: Religion Matters in Violence against Girls and Women

    Lead Author: Lisa Le Roux, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


    Topic: Religion Matters in Human Rights

    Lead Author: Friedrich Lohmann, University of Military Forces Munich, Germany


    Topic: Religion Matters in Disability

    Lead Author: Louise Lawrence, University of Exeter, United Kingdom


    Topic: Religion Matters in Education

    Lead Author: Shaikh Farid, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh


    Topic: Religion Matters in Economic Injustice

    Lead Author: Christo Thesnaar, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


    Topic: Religion Matters in Climate Change

    Lead Author: Lan Chu, Occidental College, USA


    Topic: Religion Matters in Global Issues. An Introduction

    Lead Author: Christine Schliesser, Fribourg/Zurich University, Switzerland

    Volumes published

PD Dr. Christine Schliesser (University of Zurich University / University of Fribourg, Switzerland)


Dr. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana (Georgetown University, USA)




Prof. Dr. Pauline Kollontai (York St. John University, UK)


International Advisory Board

Prof. Dr Mohammed Abu Nimer (Senior Advisor to KAICIID and professor at the School of International Service at American University. At the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program he served as Director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute (1999-2013). He also founded Salam Institute for Peace and Justice)

Prof. Dr Naomi Chazan (Former Israeli Knesset Deputy Speaker and human rights activist, former president of New Israel Fund, Dean of the School of Government and Society at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem)

Prof. Dr Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (Research Chair in Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University, former member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa (TRC), where she served on the Human Rights Violations Committee)

Dr Joel Hodge (Senior Lecturer, School of Theology, Australian Catholic University. Scholar-practitioner with a focus on religion, violence and victimization, especially in the context of East Timor. Leading expert in the thought of René Girard)

Dr Qamar-ul Huda (Senior program officer in the United States Institute of Peace Religion and Peacemaking program. Qamar-ul Huda was one of three American Professors of Religion who drafted letters to be submitted to Murat Kurnaz's Administrative Review Board)

Philip McDonagh (Irish ambassador to the Holy See, India, and Russia. Helped develop the Northern Ireland peace process. Serves in various roles at the Institute for Economics and Peace (Sydney), the OSCE Academic Network (Hamburg), the Center of Theological Inquiry (Princeton), the Edward M. Kennedy Institute (Maynooth) and the Irish School of Ecumenics (Trinity College). Principal author of a report (2019) on religion and security-building in the OSCE.