- The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education
- Religion, Privatization, and American Educational Policy
- Secularism and Religion in American Education
- Pluralism in Religion and American Education
- Religious Literacy in American Education
- Religious Liberty in American Education
- Democracy, Religion, and American Education
- Faith Development
- Moral Education
- Religious Education in the Traditions
- Religious Education Between the Traditions
- Private Religious Schools
- Religion and Homeschooling
- Public Funding of Private Religious Schools
- Religiously Affiliated Charter Schools
- Law and Religion in American Education
- Religious Expression in Public Schools
- Religion and the Public School Curriculum
- The Bible and American Public Schools
- Religion, Extracurricular Activities, and Access to Public School Facilities
- Religious Freedom, Common Schools, and the Common Good
- Religion in Mainline and Independent Private Higher Education
- Evangelical Higher Education
- Catholic Higher Education
- Religion and Spirituality in Public Higher Education
- Theological Education
- Religion, Spirituality, and College Students
- Religion, Spirituality, and College Faculty
- Teaching Religious Studies
- Teaching About Religion Outside of Religious Studies
- Campus Ministry
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter addresses how the continuity of individual and communal religious identity can be preserved in a modern context characterized by a rapid rise in religious diversity and a concomitant decline in traditional religious association. The chapter discusses various postures that religious communities can take in such a context. The authors advocate an intentional and engaged religious pluralism, achieved through “interfaith education.” This concept is defined and parsed into three activities in which religious communities should engage: developing a theology of interfaith cooperation, nurturing appreciative knowledge of shared values, and engaging in relationship-building activities. The chapter concludes with a brief consideration of how North American seminaries have been on the vanguard of adopting interfaith—sometimes referred to as multifaith or inter-religious—education.
Keywords: interfaith education, multifaith, inter-religious, religious pluralism, religious diversity, religious identity, social cohesion, shared values, appreciative knowledge, theology of interfaith cooperation
Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses. Author of the books Acts of Faith (2007), which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, Sacred Ground (2012), and Interfaith Leadership: A Primer (2006), Patel is a regular contributor to The Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, National Public Radio, and CNN. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He has taught courses on interfaith cooperation at many institutions, including the University of Chicago, Princeton Theological Seminary, Northwestern University, and Dominican University in Illinois, where he was the Lund-Gill Chair. Patel delivered the Greeley Lecture at Harvard University Divinity School and a series of lectures at Union Theological Seminary, where he served as a visiting distinguished guest lecturer during the 2012–2013 academic year.
Noah J. Silverman serves as senior director of learning and partnerships at Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based organization working to help build the interfaith movement on college campuses. He holds an MA in religious studies from New York University and has been involved in interfaith work for over fifteen years on three continents. Prior to rejoining IFYC in 2013, he served as the associate director of multifaith education at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City, where he directed the international, interfaith teen-leadership program “Face to Face / Faith to Faith.” He has worked for Religions for Peace at the United Nations, the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona, the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem, and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in London, in addition to consulting with Hillel, the JCC Association, and dozens of colleges and universities. Along with colleagues at IFYC, he has written numerous articles and chapters on the methodology of interfaith cooperation and the growing academic field of interfaith studies.
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