We live at a time when people of different faith backgrounds are interacting with greater frequency than ever before. We hear the stories of people who seek to make faith a barrier of division or a bomb of destruction all too often. Instead, we view religious and philosophical traditions as bridges of cooperation. Our interfaith movement builds religious pluralism.
We define religious pluralism as a world characterized by:
- Respect for people’s diverse religious and non-religious identities,
- Mutually inspiring relationships between people of different backgrounds, and
- Common action for the common good.
We think pluralism is achieved by two things:
- The science of interfaith cooperation: by creating positive, meaningful relationships across differences, and fostering appreciative knowledge of other traditions, attitudes improve, knowledge increases, and more relationships occur. These three are mutually reinforcing and backed by social science data, what we call the “interfaith triangle”.
- The art of interfaith leadership: people who create and foster opportunities for positive knowledge and opportunities for engagement move others around the interfaith triangle and lead to a community marked by pluralism.
We believe that American college students, supported by their campuses, can be the interfaith leaders needed to make religion a bridge and not a barrier.