Dr. Paul Numrich is Professor in the Snowden Chair for the Study of Religion and Interreligious Relations at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Professor of World Religions and Interreligious Relations at Trinity Lutheran 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 Buddhism in Chicago; the second (2010) was on mosques in the same city.
The Mosques of Metropolitan 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 within a particular American metropolis. 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 temples, 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
- Methodist Theological School in Ohio Faculty webpage: Dr. Paul Numrich
- Trinity Lutheran Seminary Faculty webpage: Dr. Paul Numrich
- Book: Religion and Community in the New Urban America, co-authored with Elfriede Wedam (New York: Oxford University Press), 2015.
- Book: The Faith Next Door: American Christians and Their New Religious Neighbors (New York: Oxford University Press), 2009.
- Book: Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement: How Religion Matters for America’s Newest Immigrants, co-authored with Fred Kniss (Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press), 2007.
- Article: “Muslims” in Encyclopedia of Chicago, ed. James R. Grossman, Ann Durkin Keating, and Janice L. Reiff. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 2004.
- Book: Old Wisdom in the New World: Americanization in Two Immigrant Theravada Buddhist Temples (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press), 1996.
- See also Dr. Numrich’s contributions in Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs in America: A Short History, co-authored with Gurinder Singh Mann and Raymond B. Williams (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007.