Teaching Interfaith Understanding Seminar Nominations Are Due Jan. 19

Interfatih brochure cover​On many campuses, interfaith activities are expanding, drawing increased attention from students, faculty members, and administrators. To help faculty members strengthen the teaching of interfaith understanding and develop new courses and resources on the subject, CIC and the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) will offer for a seventh time a Teaching Interfaith Understanding seminar in summer 2018. Emphasizing the initiative’s goals, CIC President Richard Ekman noted, “Education on interfaith understanding is critical not only to counter religious illiteracy and insensitivity, but also to prepare students for civic responsibility in a religiously diverse world.”

The seminar will take place at DePaul University (IL) in Chicago, Illinois, June 17–21, 2018, and will be led by two leading scholars: Eboo Patel and Laurie Patton. Patel is founder and president of IFYC, a national nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. The author of Interfaith Leadership: A Primer; Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America; and Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, he is a regular contributor to the public conversation about religion in America and a frequent speaker on the topic of religious pluralism. Patton is president of Middlebury College (VT) and a distinguished scholar of South Asian religion. Previously, she was dean of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Robert F. Durden Professor of Religion at Duke University. Patton is the author or editor of nine books on South Asian history, culture, and religion and has lectured widely on interfaith issues and religion and public life.

During the seminar, participants will examine the substantial theoretical questions inherent in teaching interfaith understanding and explore the practical work of translating these ideas into courses. Participating faculty members will have opportunities to develop teaching resources such as syllabi and course modules that may be shared online with colleagues at other institutions. The seminar will blend interfaith-based case study discussions with experiential activities such as site visits.

Twenty-five CIC faculty members in the humanities will be selected to participate in the multidisciplinary program, which is generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. Faculty members who wish to participate should ask the chief academic officer of their institution to send a letter of nomination that emphasizes the nominee’s qualifications and the opportunities that the nominee will have to incorporate what has been learned into his or her teaching or developing campus programs. Preference will be given to nominees whose plans to develop and offer new courses are definite and have institutional approval and support. The nomination deadline is January 19, 2018.

View nomination materials and additional information about the seminar. For questions, contact Stephen Gibson, CIC director of programs, at (202) 466-7230 or sgibson@cic.nche.edu.