funds new center
Pew Charitable Trusts has awarded the University $2.5 million
that will go toward the new Center on Religion and Democracy,
a non-partisan research center that will explore the relationship
between religion and American democratic ideals, institutions
and practices. The grant will last nearly four years.
democracy has survived for more than 200 years in America, it
is faced with many, potentially fragmenting challenges in the
21st century, said James Davison Hunter, William R. Kenan Jr.
Professor of Sociology
and Religious Studies,
who submitted the proposal with Joseph E. Davis, a research assistant
professor of sociology.
democracy requires, politics alone cannot provide," Hunter said.
"Perhaps the central crisis of American democracy is that the
moral values and ideals that historically have been the foundation
of democratic experience are eroding."
center that will explore the relationship between religion and
democracy will help us understand the reciprocal roles they play
in civil society," said Melvyn P. Leffler, dean of the College
and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. As part of the College,
the center will be located initially in Cabell Hall.
month U.Va. alumnus Frank Levinson and his wife, Wynnette Levinson,
of Palo Alto, Calif., committed $20 million to U.Va., to be split
evenly between the new interdisciplinary center and the astronomy