Interfaith cooperation and religious pluralism continue to grow as social priorities, with greater participation in interfaith activity and an increasingly clear need for interfaith leadership on the world stage. Faculty from a range of disciplines are beginning to engage these issues in their capacity as scholars and educators, teaching students how to excel as leaders in a religiously diverse world.
While a standard definition does not yet exist for this emerging field of research, study, and practice, IFYC sees a need and a role in the academy for what is often called interfaith or interreligious studies. In his 2013 article “Toward a Field of Interfaith Studies,” Eboo Patel proposed that interfaith studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the multiple dimensions of how individuals and groups who orient around religion differently interact with one another, along with the implications of these interactions for communities, civil society, and global politics.
As an emerging field, there are relatively few places for interested scholars to gather and discuss the scope, research agenda, and methodologies of interfaith studies. Consequently, the Academic Initiatives team at IFYC works to resource, catalyze, and network faculty interested in this work. In partnership with leading academic institutions, our many faculty programs strive to demonstrate the value of interfaith studies for civic leadership, while contributing to a knowledgebase that supports and shapes this field in distinct ways.
We provide support to our faculty partners in some of the following ways:
- Classroom Resources: IFYC has a robust and growing library of resources for faculty, which includes interfaith studies sample syllabi, case studies, book discussion guides, and more. IFYC has also collaborated with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to curate a resource library of syllabi, course activities, and teaching tactics created by alumni of our Teaching Interfaith Understanding faculty development seminars.
- Collaboration and Grants: IFYC partners with individual faculty and institutions to create academic interfaith studies programs and deepen faculty competence for teaching interfaith understanding.
- Networking and Events: From regular conferences to ongoing networking, IFYC works to create both real and virtual spaces for faculty to connect, share, and develop their work.
Learn more about how we partner with faculty and scholars on this website, or get in touch with us directly to begin working with IFYC’s Academic Initiatives team today.