David Damrel

Dr. David Damrel

Dr. David Damrel became a Pluralism Project affiliate in 2002 while teaching religious studies at Arizona State University. He developed a course to engage Arizona State University students in field work exploring the presence of diverse religious communities in the Phoenix area. Dr. Damrel is now an assistant professor of religion at the University of South Carolina Upstate. He was named a Fullbright Scholar in 2008 and taught for a year in Malang, Indonesia.


World Religions in Arizona

Arizona State University in Tempe is part of the greater metropolitan Phoenix area, the "Valley of the Sun" that is home to over three million inhabitants. ASU's Department of Religious Studies and the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict have a special commitment to undergraduate education. A Pluralism Project affiliate grant in 2002 helped Dr. Damrel develop and support a course, REL 194A, "World Religions in Arizona,” that exposed students to the religious diversity of the Phoenix area. This course combined fieldwork in various local communities with classroom discussions to help undergraduates understand issues of pluralism and religious diversity through local examples. The goal was for students to experience their community as a "living laboratory" in which they explored first-hand global religious traditions and world-views. Supervised teams of ASU students performed interviews, observed rituals and ceremonies, and gathered information about some of the Valley's distinct religious communities—among them Native American, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and others.

In addition to becoming part of the Pluralism Project’s archives, revised versions of the research materials produced from the fieldwork were made available to local educators in a day-long Teachers Outreach Program Workshop. The project was a collaborative effort between the Pluralism Project, the ASU Department of Religious Studies and Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, and Mr. Owen Anderson of the Maricopa County Community College District.


Selected Links and Publications

Contact Information

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC


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