Encounter


The Public Square

The public square is a place of meeting. America has long had many kinds of meeting places—the town greens, meeting houses, and commons of New England, the gracious plazas at the heart of the Spanish towns like Santa Fe, the great green malls of Washington D.C. that have seen so many demonstrations and celebrations. Legislative halls and courthouses, zoning boards and city council meetings, schools and sports facilities may also be considered part of the public square. Whatever the public square may mean as a physical space, it is space that symbolizes the free encounter of peoples and ideas that is at the heart of civil society. Read full essay »


Historical Perspectives

The peoples of America have long encountered religious difference—from the variety of Native tribal traditions which existed before Europeans arrived on American shores to the presence today of every major religious and ethical tradition of the world in the United States.

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Today’s Challenges

What are some of the contexts in which Americans are challenged to think in new ways about our religious diversity and enter into dialogue with one another, different as we are? What are the issues?

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Case Study Initiative

Dilemmas invite us to grapple with some of the important issues our society faces in confronting the challenges of religious diversity. Read more about our case studies based on real life controversies.

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America’s Interfaith Infrastructure

Stereotyping, prejudice, and hate crimes are not a thing of the past. At the same time, the growing number of initiatives for local cooperation are providing new models for community life together.

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