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The Center for Religious Studies at the Bruno Kessler Foundation has as its mission the advancement of critical understanding of the multi-faceted relationship between religion and innovation in contemporary society. We engage with innovation in religion, covering texts, traditions, doctrine and institutions, as well as with innovation through religion in the areas of science, technology, business, politics and the law. The Center is also committed to experimenting in innovation in religion and through religion. The Center is non-denominational and conducts multi-disciplinary research on the phenomenon of religion across the breadth of its articulations. ISR’s researchers cover expertise in the fields of Philosophy, Theology, Social Sciences, History, Ethics and Law.

The Center is directed by Marco Ventura.


Arguing Religion

The aim of this research project is to improve our understanding of the goals, prospects and reach of argumentative debate in responding to religious disagreements.


Atlas on Religious Minorities Rights (ATLAS)

The aim of this research project is to produce an online atlas of religious minority rights in the OSCE region as a general overview of the social and legal status of religious minorities in an interactive mode.

Boosting European Security Law and Policy (BESEC)

The project intends to support activities of information and dissemination of knowledge and skills with regard to the subject of security and its role in the process of European integration.

Ethics, Religion and Medicine

This research project regards the ethics of medicine interpreted as clinical ethics, research ethics and healthcare organizational ethics.


Freedom of Religion or Belief (FORB)

The research has as its main outcomes the 2017 report on Freedom of religion or belief and religious tolerance. The Report analyses the FoRB&RT violations in the extra-European countries.

Global Faith-based Health Systems (GFBHS)

The aim of this project is to ameliorate the status of global health provided by international faith-based organizations.

Hate Speech Online

The research project Dico di no aims to prevent/contrast young people’s intolerant and violent discourses or attitudes, which discriminate religious minorities.

Mountain and Spirituality

The research project aims to identify, describe and investigate a spiritual change that is taking place today at the boundary between religion, individuals and society.


Religion and Digital Technologies

This action-research project investigates the impact of the increasingly rapid and intense diffusion of new digital technologies on communities, practices and religious beliefs.

Religion and Violence

The aim of this project is to analyze the relationship between “religion” and violence, considering “religion” not as an independent and decontextualized variable, but as a factor linked to Politics, Society, Culture, Economy and Ethics.


  • Martha Nussbaum, La speranza degli afflitti. Il lutto e i fondamenti della giustizia, a cura di Paolo Costa (Lampi) Bologna, EDB, 2016 | ISBN 978-88-10567-22-7.

  • Harvey Cox, Il mercato divino. Come l’economia è diventata una religione, a cura di Paolo Costa (Lampi), Bologna, EDB, 2017 | ISBN 978-88-10567-68-5.

  • Michela Catto - Claudio Ferlan (edd), I gesuiti e i papi (Annali dell’Istituto storico italo-germanico. Quaderni, 97), Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016 | ISBN 978-88-15-26660-6.

  • Lucia Galvagni - Lucia Pilati (edd), Trapianti e traffico di organi nella società globale, Trento, FBK Press, 2017 | ISBN 978-88-98989-34-8; e-ISBN 978-88-98989-33-1.

  • Jürgen Moltmann - Piero Stefani - Paolo Trianni, La terra come casa comune. Crisi ecologica ed etica ambientale (Nuova Serie, 33), Bologna, EDB, 2017 | ISBN 978-88-10-41532-0.

  • Debora Tonelli, Der Dekalog. Eine retrospektive Betrachtung, Stuttgart, Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2017 | ISBN 978-34- 60033-94-8.

  • Michela Catto - Adriano Prosperi (eds), Trent and Beyond. The Council, other Powers, other Cultures (Mediterranean Nexus 1100-1700. MED-NEX, 4), Turnhout, Brepols Publishers, 2017 | ISBN 978-2-503-56898-0.

  • Heiner Bielefeldt, Il potenziale provocatorio della libertà religiosa | The Provocative Potential of Religious Freedom (Bruno Kessler Lectures, 3), Trento, FBK Press, 2017 | ISBN 978-88-98989-31-7; e-ISBN 978-88-98989-32-4 open access.

  • Anthony Carroll, l giardiniere invisibile. Credere, non credere, cercare, a cura di Paolo Costa (Lampi), Bologna, EDB, 2018 | ISBN 00000.

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