The link between religion and politics is to be examined by a new research centre at St Andrews University.
The centre will study Scotland's Islamic communities
One of the key projects at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP) will examine Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist communities in Scotland.
The centre will be launched on Thursday with a lecture by Dr Mario Aguilar, the dean of the Faculty of Divinity.
He said it hoped to "lead the way in the knowledge of diverse faith communities present in the country".
It will also examine Scotland's relations with countries outside the European Union and North America.
"After 9/11 and with an increase in religious pluralism in the world, the study of religion and politics has become central to the religious and political initiatives for sustainable development, global warming, religious pluralism and the diversity of governance," said Dr Aguilar, who will lead the centre.
The initiative is a collaboration between the schools of divinity, international relations, modern languages and philosophical and anthropological studies at the university.
The centre's patrons are Cardinal Keith O'Brien and writer and theologian Gustavo Gutierrez.