A 'curricular goldmine' for teaching and learning about religion online

May 1, 2020

As students and educators struggle with emergency online instruction, and many prepare for distance learning in the fall, quality online educational resources have never been more critical. The Pluralism Project’s newly redesigned website, pluralism.org, responds to this urgent need. Professor Diana L. Eck, the Pluralism Project’s founder and director, explains, “The Pluralism Project has long had a wide online presence. But now, with the impact of COVID-19 and the closure of campuses across the U.S., our wholly renovated and easy-to-use website comes at just the right time for the online teaching and learning that is now a necessity. Students in courses on the world’s religions, ethics, immigration, and American religious history will find resources, essays, films, and sound files. This is a curricular goldmine.”

With this launch, pluralism.org is updated, streamlined, and more accessible. Notable improvements include:

-A redesigned landing page, featuring a video introduction by founder Diana L. Eck.

-Updates to some of our most popular content, including new summaries for essays on seventeen religions and their encounter with one another in the American context.   

-New educational content, including:

  • Access to Pluralism Project case studies, resources on the case method, and other case materials
  • Expanded, extensive news & media, with a regularly-updated selection of news articles and social media and a curated section of films on religious diversity in the U.S.
  • A slideshow on America’s religious landmarks and resources about the changing religious landscape of the U.S., including other mapping projects in the U.S.
  • A growing interfaith infrastructure section, featuring profiles of interfaith organizations and a directory of interfaith centers in the U.S.

Dr. Celene Ibrahim, scholar, author, and teacher at Groton School observed: “My students find the site easy to navigate and engaging to explore. We are using the Religious Diversity News feature to keep abreast of how different religious communities are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. I plan to use the Pluralism Project website as my primary textbook next year, whether in the classroom or teaching online.” 

The redesign of this Webby award-winning pluralism.org website was made possible by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. The Pluralism Project completed the refresh, redesign, and relaunch the same way in which users will experience the site: virtually. Staff and students—including some in Vermont, Wisconsin, Virginia, Minnesota, and Massachusetts—collaborate online to improve, launch, and maintain this site. Ongoing updates and new elements—including webinars and other resources to facilitate distance teaching using the Pluralism Project website—will be added to the site this spring and summer.

About the Pluralism Project at Harvard University:
The Pluralism Project studies and interprets the changing religious landscape of the United States. Established in 1991, we conduct research with the help of students, in collaboration with others in our field, and in partnership with religious communities and interfaith organizations. Our extensive site makes the research and resources of the Pluralism Project accessible to a broad audience, integrating award-winning, evergreen content with new, regularly updated materials.

Source: A 'curricular goldmine' for teaching and learning about religion online - Religion News Service