The Collaborative Humanities Investigating Religion and Power Lab (CHIRP Lab) is a place for interdisciplinary research and conversations that seek to engage a variety of academic disciplines and various community partners. Religion and power are wide reaching, prevalent aspects of our lives. Religion motivates communities and countries; Power has been used to defend and desecrate. We believe the critical exploration of the far-reaching consequences, both positive and negative, of these two universal forces of our lives are necessary to understand and enact justice. No one stands outside the scope of power, just as no one stands outside the scope of religion. We believe the humanities can offer us creative and fruitful ways to explore the relationship between religion and power, and invite collaborators to investigate with us.
Our mission is to draw upon the values and practices of the humanities to engage the public and address problems in our communities. We believe the humanities maintains that human experiences cannot be reduced to objective figures, but instead seeks narratives of wider, collective experiences through an interdisciplinary approach. We appreciate both the intrinsic value of questioning, understanding, and expressing and the practicality of critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving that the humanities offers us. We are of the opinion that the humanities can and should be applied to any field and form of knowledge, and that we must be willing to expand our networks and embrace change to learn from each other. We believe the best humanities are done in collaboration with others, and aim to engage the voices of diverse communities, empowering the public to participate. We want to prioritize the members of our communities whose insights are too often ignored. All knowledge is fundamentally human, and the humanities are the hopeful approach to understanding.