CITER promotes research in Theology and Religious Studies based on a background of interpreting the implicit and explicit religious dimensions of our culture. In seeking to understand the role of religion in reshaping the public space and how individual and community identities are reconfigured (their representations, values and practices), we give special emphasis to theological thinking, the construction of values in society, the social and cultural currents that affect religious identities, and the aesthetic and performative manifestations of religion in the multiple incarnations of contemporary society. Our approach gives preferential treatment to studying these issues in the context of Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking societies.
Knowledge in the field of Religious Studies, and its varied phenomena, traditions and grammars, is an essential instrument for discovering ways of understanding our world and contemporary culture, taking into consideration that unending change requires a constant redefinition of how we view individuals and their social and cultural evolution. In this light, CITER promotes theology and religious studies by means of a multi- and interdisciplinary approach, seeking to describe religious realities in contemporary societies, while valuing the autonomy of each field of investigation. By endeavouring to build a bridge between science and society and to promote free and open access to scientific knowledge, CITER encourages public debate of today's core social and cultural issues and the fundamental elements of Western spirituality.
CITER involves researchers from different institutions and diverse scientific fields. It is organized along two thematic lines: (I) Theologies, Values and Social Dynamics (TVSD) and (II) The Performativities and Aesthetics of Religion (PAR). In addition to the two lines of research, there are also interdisciplinary research projects. CITER also has developed the Portal «Society & Religion», which was built up on previous work carried out by some CITER researchers. The Portal meets the growing need to produce and update measurable information on the composition of religious identities in Portugal.
As well as developing research projects and supporting young researchers, CITER works in close collaboration with other Portuguese and foreign bodies that share the same scientific interests and have a distinguished record for excellence.