The Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture (ISRC) (2006)
Type of Organization: Academic
Constructive Practices: Education and Information Dissemination
According to the website
, ISRC's primary mission is to “foster increased mutual appreciation and cooperation among the world's different religious communities and to contribute to greater inter-religious and intra-religious understanding among all people everywhere.”
ISRC acts as a research center for those who are interested in the religion and culture of Thailand and Southeast Asia. The institute organizes events such as conferences, dialogue sessions and scholarly studies to achieve their mission.
ISRC was created by Payap University, Chiang Mai in 1996. The institute is located in the heart of Chiang Mai’s city center and it is within walking distance to Chiang Mai University.
Director: Mark Tamthai
Senior Advisor: John W. Butt
Associate Director: Saeng Chandrangam
Administrative Assistant and Program Coordinator: Patcharee Pour
Secretary: Suwanee Tooknuek
Librarian and English Publications Editor: Brock Wilson
Programs and Activities
The institute organizes several different programs and activities
in areas related to inter-religious dialogue. For example, the institute:
-Organizes various lectures (Sinclair Thompson Lecture Series) and seminars (Francis Steely Seminar) to educate the public.
-Sponsors an inter-religious university class comprised of Buddhist monks and Christian seminary students from Payap University’s Faculty of Theology. This class is taught by professors who are experts in Buddhist and Christian studies.
-Publishes work related to religions and culture. ISRC is currently working on translating H. Richard Niebuhr's Christ and Culture
-Hosts an International Study Program throughout the year which focuses on the religions and culture of Thailand and Southeast Asia. This program has attracted the interest of American college students, seminarians and church members.
-Hosts a Resident Scholar Program for scholars interested in the religion and culture of Thailand and Southeast Asia as well as issues related to peace and reconciliation.
-Organizes conferences which attract scholars from all around the world. The last conference, titled "Religion and Globalization"
was held in 2003 and the next conference, "Religion and Culture"
is scheduled to be held in 2007.