The Wendland Cook Program in Religion and Justice is concerned with the relation of religion and matters of economic and ecological justice.
The Wendland Cook Program in Religion and Justice seeks to inform and support commitments to justice and deep solidarity. Our concerns for religion and economic and ecological justice are expressed in the study and promotion of the flourishing of all, of thriving relationships, of the employment of diversity for the good of the community, and of the agency and the work of all people and the planet.
Housed at Vanderbilt Divinity School, the Religion and Justice Program is strategically located in the Southern region of the United States, where religion continues to play a strong role but has often accommodated itself to the status quo and neglected alternative visions of faith. Seeking new paths of faithful reflection, the Religion and Justice Program pursues fresh engagements with the resources of Christianity, historical and contemporary, local, national, and international, in close conversation with other religious traditions.
As part of our programing, we engage related concerns of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, and interreligious justice. The Wendland Cook Program in Religion and Justice works in close collaboration with other programs at Vanderbilt Divinity School, such as the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality, the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies, the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions, and the Public Theology and Racial Justice Collective. These programs address concerns about inequality and injustice along the lines of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. The Wendland Cook Program in Religion and Justice complements and engages these concerns by developing responses to inequality and injustice along the lines of economics and ecology, topics that are closely linked to the development of religious discourse, both past and present.
While the Wendland Cook Religion and Justice Program is rooted in the academy, it is designed to address the needs of non-academic communities, both local and global as well as religious and non-religious. We work with religious communities to assess needs and to develop and promote constructive models of religious life in conversation with broader economic and ecological pressures. We develop resources for clergy, leaders, and community organizers for presentations in congregations and community groups. We hold regular meetings with small groups that include faculty experts, pastors, and community organizers to provide education and resources. Drawing on and developing the long- standing commitments of religious and activist communities, our partnerships with activists, religious communities, and the wider public focus on economic and ecological justice at the local, national, and international levels.