The Atlantic Deepens Religion Reporting with Two-Year Grant from Henry Luce Foundation

Adding two journalists, The Atlantic creates a hub for coverage and discussion of global religion

Washington, D.C. (July 27, 2016)—The Atlantic is deepening its reporting on the role religion plays in communities across the world with the support of a two-year grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs. As part of this effort, The Atlantic will hire a full-time religion editor and a second journalist who—together with the publication’s journalists and freelance writers specializing in politics, national and global affairs—will convene the best conversation about global religion available today.

“At a time when religion is both a source of hope and an excuse for conflict in America and abroad, we’re eager to expand our coverage in order to help readers make sense of a changing world,” said Bob Cohn, president of The Atlantic. “This grant from the Luce Foundation allows us to chronicle the ways that religion shapes the lives of individuals and whole cultures.”

“We are delighted that The Atlantic is committed to expanding its coverage of religion in international affairs,” said Toby Alice Volkman of the Henry Luce Foundation.  “We are especially pleased that our grant will support reporting on world regions that do not often receive attention in the Western media, and in ways that illuminate religion’s embeddedness in complex historical, social and political processes.”

In its nearly 160-year history, The Atlantic has provided critical arguments on the role of religion in society: from the magazine’s beginnings as an abolitionist journal at the nexus of the central contemporary issue of law and religious liberty, to more recent features exploring whether Jews should leave Europe in response to the rise of anti-Semitism and revealing the mysterious backstory of The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife. Last year’s “What ISIS Really Wants,” the most-read news piece on the Internet in 2015, stimulated intense discussion about how to understand the motivations and ideology of the extremist group.

This new emphasis on religion reporting will supplement coverage at In features, news reporting, and by creating a robust dialogue online, will explore key questions about religious identity, belief, belonging, and its manifestations—questions our audience has consistently turned to The Atlantic to understand. Recently, the site looked at the changing experience of faith among young people with the series “Choosing My Religion,” which was led by senior associate editor Emma Green. Green frequently writes on the intersection of religion and civil rights, politics, law, and society.

The Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs of the Henry Luce Foundation aims to foster and disseminate nuanced, contextualized and dynamic analyses of religion in the global public sphere.  The initiative supports intellectual leadership, research, the creation of resources and networks, and collaborations that bridge scholarly, media, and policy communities.