Gregory McGonigle was an MDiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School when he began researching the distinctive multireligious diversity of the State of Rhode Island—a state famous as the historical birthplace of American religious freedom, and significant for its unique immigration patterns of religious populations from colonial times to the present.
This research resulted in an historical essay and slideshow, “‘A Lively Experiment’: A Multireligious Historical Overview of Rhode Island.” Center Profiles include Native Peoples’, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Interfaith religious centers—including the first BaptistThe Baptist tradition includes a variety of Christian churches which trace their beginnings to the Anabaptist reform movement that rejected infant baptism insisting on the importance of baptizing only those who are able to profess the faith as believers. churchThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ..., the oldest synagogueSynagogue, shul in Yiddish, is the most widely used term for a Jewish house of worship. Meaning a “place of gathering,” it is the central institution of Jewish communal life. The structure and role of synagogues has changed through the centuries, but ..., and the first Zen monasteryA monastery is the residence of monks, or monastics; the term is commonly used in both the Christian and Buddhist traditions. Monasticism refers to the life of work, study, and discipline led by monks and nuns. in the United States. Collaborating with Omar Haque, McGonigle photographed Rhode Island’s diverse Muslim populations. He also began to explore new experiments in interreligious cooperation by the State Council of ChurchesThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ..., the National Conference for Community and Justice, and several multifaith chaplaincies.
Selected Links and Publications
- Center Profiles
- Brown University Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life (2003)
- Buddhist Meditation Place (2002)
- First Baptist Church in America (2006)
- Narragansett Indian Church (2006)
- National Conference for Community and Justice, Rhode Island and South Eastern New England Region (2006)
- Providence Zen Center (Diamond Hill Zen Monastery) (2002)
- Roger Williams National Memorial (2006)
- Touro Synagogue (Congregation Jeshuat Israel) (2003)
- Vedanta Society of Providence (2005)
- Wat Thormikaram of Rhode Island (Khmer Buddhist Society of New England) (2003)
- Watlao Buddhovath of Rhode Island (Southeast Asian Cultural Center of New England) (2006)