Dr. Paul Numrich

Dr. Paul Numrich is Professor in the Snowden Chair for the Study of Religion and Interreligious Relations at the 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 and Professor of World Religions and Interreligious Relations at TrinityThe Trinity is the Christian doctrine of the three natures of the One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The language of the Trinity bespeaks the complexity of God, who can be spoken of as the transcendent creator, the one who accompanies humanity as the ... LutheranLutheranism is a Protestant tradition following the theology of Martin Luther (1483-1546), the reformer who was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and launched the German reformation. He emphasized the sole authority of the Bible, the priesthoo... Seminary, Columbus, Ohio. He became a Pluralism Project affiliate in 1998 while a research assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His first affiliate research project (1998-2001) focused on the landscape of 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 Chicago; the second (2010) was on mosquesMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit... in the same city.

The Mosques of MetropolitanA Metropolitan is the title given to a bishop, used especially in the Orthodox family of churches today. Chicago (2010)

Before 1960, only five mosques could be found in metropolitan Chicago, all within the city limits. From research conducted in the late 1990s, Dr. Paul Numrich estimated that there were 67 mosques in the six-county region (cf. Numrich 2004). In a 2010 research project, he verified the locations of the 91 mosques shown on the accompanying map. Read more in this report, The Mosques of Metropolitan Chicago, about his research methods and findings for the 2010 project and discussion of some implications of Islam’s growing institutional presence on Chicago’s (and America’s) religious landscape.

The Buddhist Chicago Project (1998-2001)

The Buddhist Chicago Project sought an “on the ground” contextualization of Buddhism as a social system withMap of Chicago Area Buddhist Centers (1999)in a particular American metropolisA Metropolitan is the title given to a bishop, used especially in the Orthodox family of churches today.. The project investigates several key issues, including how Buddhist groups within a metropolitan region interrelate. An affiliate grant from the Pluralism Project funded an inital canvassing of Buddhist Chicago as a foundation for further funding of the complete study. Dr. Numrich contacted or visited 63 Buddhist templesBuddhist temples differ considerably from one another depending upon culture and particular school, but most are associated with the residence of the sangha of monks. Theravada temples focus on one or more images of Sakyamuni Buddha. In Mahayana and Vajra..., centers, and groups in the 6-county region while serving as a research associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Loyola University Chicago. During that time he conducted research out of the department’s McNamara Center for the Social Study of Religion and co-directed the Religion, Immigration and Civil Society in Chicago Project, a three-year scholarly investigation of religion’s role in the social engagement of recent immigrant groups, and also directs projects on culturally competent health care for immigrant patients and local Christian responses to increasing religious diversity.


Selected Links and Publications