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Register now for: “We” & “They”: Cross-cultural conversations on identity

Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS)

“We” and “They”: Cross-cultural conversations on identity

Institute on Religion in an Age of Science annual conference, June 26-July 3, 2022

Portsmouth, NH: The Institute of Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) invites you to attend our 2022 summer conference, “We” and “They”: Cross Cultural Conversations on Identity. Through multi-religious and scientific frameworks including biological, psychological, sociological, and anthropological considerations, this conference will explore core concepts of identity.  We invite you to engage in cross-cultural conversations and participate in envisioning a global cultural transformation in which the presence of diversity need not provoke disharmony.
Questions include:

  1. Are there prevailing scientific understandings of self, and if so, what are they?
  2. How do specific world religious traditions understand individual and social identities and otherness?
  3. In our dynamically interconnected global society, how can science and religion help us comprehend the limitations and purposes of identity?
  4. What cultural assumptions and historical, religious, political, and philosophical blind spots inhibit our understanding of our own and others’ identities?
  5. How can we engage in cross cultural conversations that transcend the “allergy to the other,” increase respect and understanding, and contribute to justice and peacemaking?

For the full conference statement, visit

Conference Program Chairs: Anindita N. Balslev, C.J. Love, & Jennifer E. Whitten

Contributors: Dr. Mustafa Cabir Altinas; Dr. Dylan Belton; Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake; Sally Bowden-Schaible, LCPC; Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock; Rev. Dr. Amy Butler; Dr. Paul Carr; John Calvin Chatlos, MD; Dr. Mahjabeen Dhala; Martin Hargrove, Sturgis Music Fellow; Dr. Douglas Hill; Jason Keune, MD; Dr. Eduardo Mendieta; Dr. Michal Meulenberg; Rev. Dr. E. Maynard Moore; Timofej Murašov; Dr. Andrew B. Newberg; Dr. Stephen W. Ragsdale; Donna Roberts, filmmaker; Rabbi David Rosen; Dr. Tinu Ruparell; Dr. Michael Ruse; Lama Losang Samten; Swami Sarvapriyananda; Dr. Roger Stork; Dr. Marlena Studer; Lili Almási Szabó; Dr. David B. Yaden

Ways to attend:

In-person: We hope you will be able to join us in-person for this rich exploration on beautiful Star Island, off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In-person pricing includes program fee (at member, non-member, and youth rates), food, lodging, and ferry transport to Star Island. To learn more about the venue, visit

To register for the in-person conference, visit

Online: For those unable to make it to Star Island, we will be presenting most plenary sessions, paper presentations, chapel services, and our Sturgis music concert to online conference registrants.

To register for the online conference, visit

To become a member and receive a discounted conference program fee, as well as a yearly subscription to Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science) visit

About IRAS:

Our mission: IRAS cultivates a community of informed and respectful inquiry and dialogue at the intersections of science with religion, spirituality and philosophy in service of global, societal and personal well-being.

Our history: IRAS evolved from the ideas of two pioneer groups. The first was a group of scientists from the Committee on Science and Values of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The second group was an interfaith, religious coalition which hoped to revitalize religion for today’s needs. Members of both groups saw the conflicting ideologies of religion and science as a place of opportunity for a constructive relationship to emerge. In 1954, the scientists accepted an invitation to present their views to the religious group at a seven-day conference on Religion in an Age of Science on Star Island. IRAS conferences have continued since that date.


Jennifer E. Whitten
Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS)
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.