Today marks the launch of Religion & Politics, an online journal from the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

Marie Griffith, Editor of the journal, writes:

Religion & Politics is an online journal that focuses on one of the most contested issues of our time: the role religion plays in the civic and political life of the United States.

[…] Our journal was founded to explore these issues from a broad range of diverging viewpoints, rather than a single grinding axe. That is a tall order, and one we do not take lightly; as Leigh Eric Schmidt stated recently in a lecture about the Danforth Center’s purpose, “However impolitic, we’ve made bedfellows of religion and politics.” Aren’t these topics the very ones your mother warned you never to raise at a dinner party? Well, as our tagline suggests, we’re here to make them fit for polite company.

The new digital publication already features an impressive variety of material: reportsessays, and roundtable commentary on topics ranging from the details of the HHS mandate, to “Jon Stewart, religion teacher extraordinaire,” to the media’s treatment of candidates’ religions.

As a component of its coverage of the 2012 elections, the journal hosts The States of the Union Project, collecting entries from around the country in which authors “tell us where they discovered religion and politics in their states.” This week’s entries are penned by Matthew Bowman, Harvey Cox, and Krista Tippett.

Check out the inaugural contributions to Religion & Politics here.