Engaging Religious Diversity in 21st Century Minnesota

Series Description: Religion in America is not only alive and well but growing increasingly diverse. Some scholars have even declared America "the world's most religiously diverse nation." Religious diversity on its own does not ensure civic harmony and social cohesion but can also - perhaps more often - lead to fear, intolerance, hate, and sometimes violence. This three-part series will explore a) the growing religious diversity of America and movements to foster understanding, learning, and peace; b) interfaith dialogue and modes of encouter, and c) trends among the spiritual lives of young people and emerging academic programming at American universities to foster religious literacy and interfaith leadership.

Series Information: Three week series, beginning on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, 10:00-11:40 a.m. This is a live-streamed, online program. Registrants will receive information by email to access the program. The actual Join URL will be sent out to registrants two business days prior to the first session. If you have not received it by then, please contact the Selim Center (selimcenter@stthomas.edu) immediately.

Series EducatorHans Gustafson, Ph.D. is Director of the Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Department of Theology at the University of St. Thomas, where he teaches courses in the areas of (inter)religious studies and theology. His recent publications include Interreligious Studies: Dispatches from an Emerging Field, ed. (Baylor University Press, 2020) and "Defining the Academic Field of Interreligious Studies" in the journal Interreligious Studies and Intercultural Theology (2020). He is currently finishing a forthcoming book titled Interreligious Studies for Everday Wisdom in the Contemporary World.

Fee for the series: $45.00 per person

To register on-line with a credit card on our secure page, click on this linkhttps://secure.touchnet.com/C20237_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=15&SINGLESTORE=true   Important note: you must register before 8:00 a.m. on the program day in order to receive the Join URL for the session.

To register by check or cash, or to redeem a voucher, please complete this registration form and mail back to the address on the form. Winter 2022 Registration Form

Series Syllabus:

DateSession Description

March 1

Religious Diversity and Interfaith Engagement

This session will explore the religious demographics ranging from global to local with an eye to emerging trends. It will also introduce key moments and documents in the history of the Interfaith Movement, and conclude with an examination of civic religious pluralism, a primary objective towards which many interfaith activists work.


No session on March 8.

March 15

Interfaith Dialogue and Interreligious Encounter

This session will introduce various modes and levels of dialogue as commonly employed by practitioners and institutions that work across lines of religious difference. It will also explore some of the most promising data about fostering sustainable interreligious understanding and relationships.

March 22

Engaging the Next Generations

This session will introduce growing attempts in academic contexts to foster religious literacy and interfaith leadership among students as a civic responsibility. It will also take a deeper dive into emerging trends among the spiritual lives of young people. The session will conclude by offering ways for Selim Center participants to be involved in interfaith learning from local to global opportunities.