Advisors

The Pluralism Project would like to acknowledge the following academic and community advisors who have supported our work over the years.

Dr. Leila Ahmed
Harvard Divinity School
Women and Gender in IslamIslam in Arabic literally means “submitting” or “submission.” One who submits or surrenders his or her will to God is called a Muslim. While the whole of God’s creation is described as being inherently Muslim, human beings must choose whether to...; Islam in America; Women’s Studies in Religion

Dr. Ali Asani
Harvard University, Committee on the Study of Religion
Islam; Muslim Youth in North America

Dr. Dorothy A. Austin
Harvard Divinity School
Religion and Psychology; Psychology, Arts, and the Humanities; Psychoanalysis and MeditationMeditation is the disciplined practice of quieting and focusing the mind or cultivating the heart’s attention. Different meditation practices commend focusing attention on a word, a prayer, a form, or the breath as a way of practice. Meditation is commo...

Dr. Diana L. Eck
Harvard University, Committee on the Study of Religion; Member of the Faculty of Divinity; The Pluralism Project
Religious Traditions of India; Interreligious Relations; Religious Pluralism in America

Dr. Charles Haynes
Newseum Institute/Religious Freedom Center Freedom Forum First Amendment Center
Religious Freedom; Religion and Public Education; Teaching About Religions in the Public School Curriculum

Dr. Gurinder Singh Mann
University of California at Santa Barbara
SikhsSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob... in the U.S.

Dr. Aminah Beverly McCloud
DePaul University, Department of Religious Studies
Islam in America; Comparisons of Muslim DiasporaA Greek word first used in the Hellenistic period, Diaspora refers to the “dispersion” of Jewish communities living in countries other than Israel. Today, the term Diaspora is also used to describe other religious communities, living apart from their ... in North America and Europe

Dr. Vasudha Narayanan
University of Florida, Gainesville, Department of Religion
Hinduism“Hindu” was originally a word given by the Greeks, then the Persians, to the land and peoples beyond the Indus or “Sindhu” River. The term “Hinduism” came into common use only in the 19th century to describe a complex and dynamic pattern of li... in the U.S.; Hindu-Muslim Interactions in Ritual Spaces; Women in the Hindu Tradition

Dr. Paul D. Numrich
MethodistThe Methodist church is a Protestant communion of churches which began in England with John Wesley (1703-91) and has become a worldwide movement. In the U.S., the United Methodist Church—one of the largest Protestant denominations—is known for its str... Theological School in Ohio; Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus
Study of Religion and Interreligious Relations

Dr. Anantanand Rambachan
St. Olaf College, Religion Department
Advaita VedantaAdvaita Vedanta is a school of Hindu philosophy based on the doctrine of non-dualism associated with Shankara. That doctrine attests that Brahman is the only reality.; Authority of Scripture; Hinduism in Diaspora; Interreligious Dialogue

Mr. Rohinton Rivetna
Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North AmericaFEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, was founded in 1986 to serve as an umbrella organization for Zoroastrian associations in the U.S. and Canada. This organization publishes the quarterly FEZANA Journal and sponsors numero... (FEZANAFEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, was founded in 1986 to serve as an umbrella organization for Zoroastrian associations in the U.S. and Canada. This organization publishes the quarterly FEZANA Journal and sponsors numero...)
ZoroastrianismOriginating with the teachings of the Prophet Zarathushtra in the second millennium BCE, the ancient faith of Zoroastrianism is referred to as “the Good Religion” in the sacred texts. Zoroastrians are encouraged to live out their faith through the pra... in the U.S.; Interfaith Activities

Dr. Omid Safi
University of North Carolina at ChapelA chapel is a place of worship, smaller than the sanctuary of a church or synagogue, or in an institutional setting such as a college or hospital. Hill, Department of Religious Studies
Islamic Mysticism; Contemporary Islamic Thought; Medieval Islamic History

Dr. Richard Seager
Hamilton College, Religious Studies Department
BuddhismBuddhism is a multi-hued tradition of life, thought, and practice that has developed from the teaching and practice of Siddhartha Gautama (6th century BCE) who came to be called the Buddha, the awakened one. The three major streams of the tradition—Ther... in the U.S.

Mr. Pravin K. Shah
Federation of Jain Associations of North America and Jain Study Center of North America
Teaching of JainismThe term Jain or Jaina refers to the tradition of the Jinas, the “victorious ones” who have won spiritual liberation, and to those who follow it. The Jain tradition as we know it dates back some 2500 years to the life of the teacher Mahavira, said to ... to Youth in North Carolina; Development of Jain Literature Website and Home Study Course

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi
FiqhFiqh means “understanding” the Shariah, the law of God, as it is laid out in the Qur’an and Hadith and interpreted by community consensus and human reason. Four schools of legal interpretation (fiqh) are accepted in Sunni Islam: Hanafi, Maliki, Shaf... Council of North America
Islam in North America

Dr. Robert Stockman
DePaul University, Religious Studies Department; Institute for Bahá’í Studies
Bahá’í History; World Religions in America; Interfaith Activities; Bahá’í Curriculum Development

Dr. Donald K. Swearer
Harvard Divinity School
Theravada BuddhismTheravada, literally “the way of the elders,” was one of the eighteen earliest sub-schools of Buddhism. Today, the term designates the various traditions of Buddhism most prominent in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Although these traditions differ in i...; Buddhism and ChristianityChristianity is the religious tradition of Christians: those who confesses faith in Jesus Christ, follow the path Christ taught, and gather together in the community of the church.; Engaged Buddhism; American Buddhism; Immigrant BuddhismThe term “immigrant Buddhism” refers to the form of American Buddhism identified mainly with immigrant Buddhists from Asia, whether of the first wave of Chinese and Japanese or the second wave of Southeast Asians.

Dr. Raymond Williams
Wabash College
Religions of South Asian Immigrants in the U.S.; SwaminarayanThe Swaminarayan Hindu movement began in early nineteenth century Gujarat with a religious and social reformer named Sahajanand Swami. It is a devotional bhakti movement, focusing on Vishnu in the form of Krishna and Radha and also on Sahajanand Swami him... Hinduism; Srivaishnava AcharyasAn acharya is teacher or spiritual guide, one learned in the religious tradition and its texts.

Dr. Yifa
The Woodenfish Project
MonasticA monk is a man who renounces worldly life and is ordinarily a member of a monastic order or community, thereby undertaking a special commitment to study, service, asceticism, prayer, or disciplined spiritual practice. In the Buddhist tradition, fully ord... Regulation and Institutions; Chinese Buddhism; Humanistic Buddhism; VinayaVinaya is one of the three main canonical categories of the Buddha’s teaching: vinaya (code of discipline), abhidharma (treatises on metaphysics), and sutra (discourses). Vinaya refers to the rules which guide monastic practice. Although various version... from Chinese Resources

In memoriam

Margot Adler
National Public Radio
Author, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other PagansThe term “pagan” (from the Latin paganus) originally meant “peasant” or “country dweller.” For many Pagans, the term suggests a life lived close to the land. Today, nature spirituality is an important thread in contemporary Paganism. Some Paga... in America Today


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