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Rome Summer Seminars on Religion and Global Politics

The Rome Summer Seminars is a two-week program for graduate students, scholars and practitioners working at the crossroads of religion and global politics which is designed to draw on the unique religious and geopolitical resources of the city of Rome.

The Seminars will begin with a 10-day writing workshop for students and culminate in a 2-day symposium for senior scholars and practitioners. Students attending the workshop will have the possibility to participate in the symposium.

The Seminars aspire to become a hub for innovative reflection on religion and politics and to form a new network of scholars and leaders equipped with the religious knowledge, academic training and policy expertise to effectively engage major policy debates on religion and global affairs. Students will explore key themes emerging in the field of religion and global politics and meet with religious leaders, scholars and policy-markers from across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The program will include daily seminars with members of the steering committee and confirmed keynote lectures Olivier Roy (European University Institute), Kristina Stoeckl (University of Innsbruck), Cenap Aydin (Istituto Tevere),  Scott Appleby (University of Notre Dame), Mohammed Hashas (LUISS) and Anna Rowlands (Durham University).

Venue and Visits

Most lectures and writing workshops will be held at the University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway near the Colosseum in Rome. The program will also include daily visits to major institutions and personalities engaged in religion and global policy making in the city, such as Foreign Embassies to the Holy See, religious organizations, international institutions, and pontifical institutes active in interreligious dialogue, immigration and conflict resolution.


Student housing in a newly renovated university residence hall near the Janiculum hill will be provided by the program.


Breakfast, working lunches and a number of evening meals are included in the program.


Thanks to generous institutional funding, the inaugural year fee is 500 euro for the 2-week program and includes accommodation, meals as above and participation in the international symposium. Travel costs to and from Rome will be the responsibility of the participant. A travel fund and tuition scholarship is being set up for students who do not have access to research funds.

Writing Workshop

The program is primarily aimed at Doctoral students although advanced MA students with particularly strong applications may be considered. During the writing workshop, graduate students will present early stages of their research, including dissertation chapters, theoretical frameworks, fieldwork strategies and articles to be submitted for publication.

Each day will include a discussion seminar and a writing forum in which students will present their work and receive feedback from a core of scholars teaching in the seminars. Throughout the week, students will also visit Rome-based religious-political institutions and attend a number of keynote lectures with established scholars in the field of religion and politics. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a formal certificate of participation.


The program will end with an international symposium for scholars and policy-makers, organized together with the Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The symposium will continue ISPI’s policy dialogues on religion and international relations with a 2023 theme of “Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding in Contemporary Global Crises.”

To Apply

To apply use the button below. You will need 1) an updated CV; 2) a short research statement outlining the research project to work on during the seminars; and 3) a short personal statement.

Students wishing to apply for the limited travel and tuition scholarships should also include a short statement indicating their funding situation. The program expects to fund 5 scholarships on a strictly need-based criteria.

Submissions must be received by February 10th, 2023. Accepted candidates will be notified by March 10th, 2023.

For inquiries please click here.

Partners and Organizational Structure

The Rome Summer Seminars’ organizational model is a multi-member collaborative consortium which combines scholarship, policy expertise and religious knowledge. The consortium builds on existing partnerships between the following institutions: the University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway (RGG), Keough School of Global Affairs and Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion; the Pontifical Gregorian University (PUG); the Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI); the Sinderesi Foundation; the Adyan Foundation of Lebanon; the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies of Jordan; the Hanns Seidel Stiftung and John Cabot University (JCU).

The Rome Summer Seminars are being generously funded by the University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway and Keough School of Global Affairs, the Hanns Seidel Stiftung in Rome, and John Cabot University.

Steering Committee

  • Michael Driessen (John Cabot University, program director)
  • Mahan Mirza (Ansari Institute, Notre Dame)
  • Fabio Petito (Sussex University)
  • Antonella Piccinin (Gregorian University/Rome Global Gateway, Notre Dame)
  • Samuele Sangalli (Gregorian University/Sinderesi)
  • Elie al Hindy (Adyan Foundation)
  • Renee Hattar (Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies)

Advisory Board

  • Scott Appleby (Keough School, Notre Dame)
  • Azza Karam (Religions for Peace)
  • Fadi Daou (Adyan Foundation)
  • Pasquale Ferrara (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/LUISS)
  • Anna Rowlands (Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham)

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