Lilly Grant for Religion by Region Project       

The Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College, Hartford, CT has received a grant of $978,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support a comprehensive and comparative study on the impact that regions have on religion’s role in American public life and to continue publication of the Center’s journalism review magazine, Religion in the News.

The grant will support an innovative study of the regional variations and continuities of religious life in the United States. The project will produce eight volumes between 2003 and 2005, each treating a geographical region. One major aim of the books is to provide thorough briefings for journalists who cover religious dimensions of the news, so journalistic needs will shape the character of the work. "No body of literature exists that describes, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the religious character of contemporary America region by region," according to Mark Silk, director of the Center.

The "Religion by Region" project will be conducted by eight regional research teams picked and coordinated by the Greenberg Center. Each team will include five to eight members with academic expertise and an associate director. Each volume will include extensive demographic information to be produced in partnership with the Polis Center at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

The overall project will be directed by Mr. Silk, with an advisory board of leading scholars in American religion. The advisory board will include Philip Barlow of Hanover College in Indiana, Patricia Killen of Pacific Lutheran University in Washington, Wade Clark Roof of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Jan Shipps emeritus professor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, and Charles Reagan Wilson of the University of Mississippi.