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American Academy of Religion

Obama’s Interfaith Vision and the Restlessness of Our Wretched Refuse

Many people are very discouraged by the current climate of anti-Muslim and anti-“other” rhetoric that so fills the airwaves. However, the larger reality is that we are progressing as a nation towards a more positive appropriation of our rich religious diversity. It comes with fits and starts, albeit. But don’t be fooled to think otherwise. It is the way human social progress works.

Laurie Zoloth Calls American Academy of Religion to Account

In an impassioned, eloquent plea in San Diego last month, Laurie Zoloth, newly appointed 2014 president of the Academy of American Religion (AAR), called for a conscious “interruption” in our lives to take into account the dire climate crisis and to make substantial changes in our daily behavior.

State of Formation: A Forum for Young Faith & Ethics Leaders

It is difficult to know where to turn to get accurate, interesting, creative, not to mention, meaty theological reflections exploring the social issues we face in the world today. The online forum State of Formation (SoF) offers such a place, and as the forum grows, the continuing legacy of writers, ideas, topics, and dialogue grows as well.

Bud Heckman – An Interfaith Frank Lloyd Wright

Bud Heckman is an interfaith Frank Lloyd Wright. This pastor, scholar, and author is a global architect designing the structures we all will need – if we are to transform religious conflict into interfaith cooperation that can benefit communities worldwide.

Five Things Changing the Way Religions Interact

Report: A Season of International Interfaith Conferences

American Academy of Religion Opens Door to Interreligious Studies

It all began when I sat next to Prof. Barbara McGraw at an Interfaith Youth Core conference in Chicago in 2009. We were both impressed by the energy and passion of the religiously diverse young people gathered to talk about models of interfaith cooperation. Having helped launch the IFYC in my younger days and now learning the ropes of academic life in my position at Andover Newton Theological School, it struck me how powerful it would be to combine the scholarly depth of the academy with the passion of the interfaith movement. Barbara looked at me and suggested simply, “what about starting a new area at the AAR (American Academy of Religion) focused on interfaith work?”

Seminaries Buzzing with Interfaith Studies

Most of the several hundred seminary campuses crisscrossing Canada and the United States were developed by individual religious traditions. They wanted to ensure a steady, dependable source of new leaders for their denomination’s congregations. Over the decades most of these seminaries developed similar curricula – ancient languages, scripture, history, theology, ethics, pastoral care, and the liturgy, policies, and history of each school’s particular tradition. This shared curriculum, though, did little to connect the different traditions to each other. In most of these schools, memory, vision, values, and institutional structures all come through the lens of a particular tradition.

TIO at the American Academy of Religions

For anyone interested in religion, the American Academy of Religion annual meetings are an embarrassment of riches. What was new in San Francisco this year as 10,000 scholars, students, publishers, and advocates gathered was the unprecedented presence of interfaith studies. Professor Diana Eck from Harvard’s Pluralism Project, who served as president of AAR 2005-06, helped legitimize interreligious studies academically. Five years later the progress is encouraging for anyone interested in bridge-building among religious, spiritual traditions. Interfaith workshops, panels, and receptions punctuated the all four days of meetings last month.

What Excites Me about Interfaith Work?

This article grew out of a presentation Bettina Gray made at a meeting of interfaith leaders attending the November 2011 meetings of the American Academy of Religions/Society of Biblical Literature. The session focused on innovative interfaith activity and was organized by the Coexist Foundation.

The $100,000 Question in the Interfaith Movement

How do we know when we have arrived in the interfaith movement?  When religious pluralism is normative?  When religious differences don’t cause conflict or even concern?