August 11, 2009

Pluralism Project Newsletter
August 11, 2009
In this Issue:
  • Launch of World Religions in Greater Boston
  • Thank You to Our Summer Interns, Research Associates, & Webmaster
  • Thank You to “Friday Workshop” Leaders
  • Pluralism Project to Move to Harvard Square


Launch of World Religions in Greater Boston
Dear Friends,
[ Image: image of Dr. Diana L. Eck ]
We have recently launched the fifth edition of World Religions in Greater Boston (WRGB) at www.pluralism.org/wrgb We invite you to explore this exciting new resource.
Originally developed as a print guide, World Religions in Greater Boston is now an interactive website designed to educate and engage religious and civic leaders, students and academics, journalists, medical professionals, new Bostonians, and tourists. The fifth edition features a new online user interface with updated audio-visual content, interactive maps, a near-comprehensive directory of religious centers and organizations, a searchable news database, links to introductory materials, and resources by tradition. Additional content will be added throughout the next academic year, and updates will be ongoing.
A collaborative effort, WRGB is made possible by the generosity of the religious communities of Greater Boston. Our sincere thanks to the countless individuals who have been our gracious hosts, learned teachers, and informed contributors. We also wish to recognize the leaders and members of interfaith organizations in Greater Boston who have provided us with both assistance and inspiration: you offer powerful examples of the value of education and engagement across the lines of difference. You have taught us much about pluralism.
We hope that regardless of where you live, you will find this interactive guidebook interesting and engaging. As the most comprehensive resource of its kind, WRGB might be considered a prototype for similar undertakings in other US cities. We look forward to thinking about this with you.

Best wishes,
Diana


Thank You to Our Summer Interns, Research Associates, & Webmaster
[ Image: summer interns pic ]
We are deeply indebted to this year’s interns whose hard work and dedication have made the launch of World Religions in Greater Boston possible. Each intern contributed countless hours to make our directory more comprehensive; conducted site visits, fieldwork, and interviews to bring that data to life; and creatively developed engaging introductory materials that will draw users into each tradition and initiative featured on the site. Our ten summer interns included Margaret Clendenen from The College of William & Mary; Claire Droste and Sohini Pillai from Wellesley College; Megan Sullivan from Tufts University; Jonathan Cox, Julia Taylor, and Kamille Washington from Harvard College; Abhishek Raman, a recent graduate of Clark University; Jason Smith, a recent graduate of St. Olaf College; and Josh Daneshforooz from Harvard Divinity School.

We also are also grateful for the summer work of our research associates. Sabrina Zearott, a recent graduate of Harvard College, has skillfully managed web updates, design projects, and research on interfaith initiatives in Greater Boston. Kate DeConinck, a student at Harvard Divinity School, has expertly handled our email correspondence. Finally, Senior Research Associate Kimberly Richards, a recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School, has been an invaluable team player, contributing to every aspect of our summer work with diligence, grace, and humor.

Finally, our largest debt of gratitude is owed to our webmaster, Ryan Overbey. We have been thrilled, delighted, and awed at every turn in this process by Ryan’s ability to translate rough ideas into elegant structures. The new user interface he designed for World Religions in Greater Boston will make the complexities of our changing religious landscape more accessible, comprehensible, and delightful to explore. Thank you.


Thank You to “Friday Workshop” Leaders
[ Image: Friday workshop pic ]
This year, our internship program included a new component: Friday workshops. The intention of these interactive sessions was to introduce our interns to local resources on religious pluralism. The workshops included:
Case Studies: Teaching Pluralism
taught by Elinor Pierce, Pluralism Project research director
Community Building Through Art
taught by Ray Williams, Harvard University Arts Museums director of education and Pluralism Project affiliate
Women’s Practices as a Model for Interfaith Dialogue
taught by Dr. Neelima Shukla-Bhatt, assistant professor of South Asian studies at Wellesley College and Pluralism Proejct affiliate
Interreligious Education and Leadership
taught by Dr. Jennifer Peace and Rabbi Or Rose, co-leaders of the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE), a joint initiative of Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College
Thank you to each of these workshop leaders for engaging our students and staff in creative exercises that enriched our understanding of pluralism while building a stronger staff team.


Pluralism Project to Move to Harvard Square

The Pluralism Project will be moving to a new space in Harvard Square next week. Effective August 17, our new address will be: The Pluralism Project, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Our phone, email, and website will remain the same.