Dr. Douglas A. Hicks

Douglas A. Hicks is dean and professor of religion at Oxford College of Emory University. Previously he was professor of religion and senior advisor for academic initiatives at Colgate University. He formerly served as Colgate’s provost and dean of the faculty. Prior to moving to Colgate, he served as professor of leadership studies and religion in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and executive director of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Richmond. It was during his time at the University of Richmond that he became an affiliate of the Pluralism Project.

Dr. Hicks is the author of Religion and the Workplace: Pluralism, Spirituality, Leadership, Inequality and Christian Ethics; Money Enough; and With God on All Sides: Leadership in a Devout and Diverse America.

About With God on All Sides: Leadership in a Devout and Diverse America (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Perhaps no other nation is or has ever been as religiously diverse as the United States. For elected officials, school principals, corporate leaders, and many others, this diversity poses unique challenges. Leaders bring their own faiths to public life, and they daily encounter followers of similar and different faiths. Good leadership must draw together people from varied backgrounds in order to achieve something in common. This is no simple task.

How should leaders deal with menorahs and crosses, veils and turbans, prayers and holidays? How do they and their followers turn the cacophony of beliefs and practices into a kind of citizenship worthy of the American tradition of religious freedom? How can they honor the religious convictions of all Americans? In With God on All Sides, Douglas A. Hicks provides a roadmap for leaders as they traverse the post-9/11 landscape. Although the devout possess moral and spiritual resources that can enrich civic life, leaders must also be prepared to cope with nearly inevitable conflicts between people of different faiths. Yet wise leaders can find ways to transform the problem of diversity into an opportunity. Drawing on their moral and spiritual resources, Americans of all creeds have the capacity to enhance the quality of our civic debate. Their faith-based practices create occasions for mutual learning.

Hicks tells the stories of how diverse Americans have transformed public controversies into cases of cooperation. The key to good leadership, Hicks writes, is to engage one another across lines of difference with a spirit of humility, build communication and trust, and offer an inclusive vision that is true to America’s principles. Based on years of research and practical experience, With God on All Sides provides an invaluable and thought-provoking guide to leadership—and citizenship—in our devout and diverse nation.

About Religion and the Workplace: Pluralism, Spirituality, Leadership (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

How can company leaders and employees negotiate their different religious and spiritual commitments in the workplace? This book draws upon scholarship in religion, management, and leadership to tackle this question. At a time of international debate over religious conflict and tolerance, workforces in various parts of the world are more diverse than ever before. Increasingly, the workplace is a significant public sphere in which people of varied religious perspectives encounter one another. Religion and spirituality are, for many employees, central to their identities. From the perspective of the employer, however, they can be distracting or divisive influences. The book analyzes the current interest in religion and spirituality in U.S. companies. It offers conceptual distinctions and comparative examples (from the pluralistic contexts of India and Singapore) to trace the myriad ways that religion is present at work. It offers a model of respectful pluralism, asserting that the task of effective and ethical leadership in organizations is not to promote a single spiritual or religious framework but, rather, to create an environment in which managers and employees can respectfully express their own beliefs and practices.

Selected Links and Publications