Research Report

Interfaith Efforts and Hurricane Sandy Recovery in New York City (2015)

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated areas in the Northeastern United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. In New York City, at least 43 people died and thousands of homes were destroyed.[1] The city experienced $19 billion in damages and it was weeks before power and train lines were restored in most parts of the city.[2] While New York was largely able to bounce back, the recovery process is not complete for many residents. Some are now frustrated, years later, with the inefficiency and lack of resources to rebuild properly...

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Parliament of the World’s Religions: “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity” (2015)

The 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions was held in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 15-20, 2015 and attracted over 10,000 people from nearly 80 countries.[1] The event theme, “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity,” came out of organizers’ hopes that the Parliament would provide the time and space for “thousands of kindred spirits” to come together “with compassion and forgiveness, with curiosity and convictions, with expansive vision and following a deeply personal call to action in response to the urgency of these times.”[2]...

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Religion Communicators Council Convention: Faith-based Communications: Bridges, Avenues, and Intersections (2016)

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On Thursday, March 31 through Saturday, April 2, 2016 over 100 Religion Communicators Council (RCC) members met throughout New York City for a three-day conversation about the challenges, innovations, shortcomings and successes of faith-based communication. The shifting location of the annual RCC convention each day brought attendees to the Interfaith Center, the Church of Latter-Day Saints Center, the Church Center for the United Nations and finally the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral. Further, over a third of convention attendees were...

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Soka Gakkai in America (2001)

Soka Gakkai is the largest "new religion" in Japan with eight million official members in 1992. It has branches throughout the world, and it is the clearly the biggest Buddhist organization in the United States.

Currently, estimates very widely as to the American membership, but the truth is probably somewhere between the 300,000 of Soka Gakkai's official 1997 census and Philip Hammond's conservative estimate of approximately 36,000. Soka Gakkai represents the largest and most ethnically diverse group of Buddhists in...

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Mapping Muslim Communities in Mississippi (2006)

The history of Islam in Mississippi began, as it did throughout the Southern United States, during the slave trade. Despite the paucity of evidence concerning the belief and practice of slaves brought from West Africa, we have detailed knowledge of certain individual Muslim slaves. One prominent example is the fascinating life of Abd Rahman Ibrahima, a Muslim prince from 18th century Mali who was captured into the slave trade, settled in Natchez, Mississippi and eventually won his freedom through the intercession of Henry Clay. As cases like his are few and far...

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Apna Ghar: Domestic Violence and Reaching Out to Chicago's Faith Communities (2001)

Apna Ghar is a Hindi term that means "Our Home," and is the name of a non-profit organization and shelter located in Chicago for victims of domestic violence that are specifically of South Asian descent. Like many organizations, Apna Ghar began as an idea in the minds of a small group of people. In this case, that group was composed of five women—three from Chicago's Asian Human Services Organization—Prem Sharma, Kanta Khipple, and Lee Maglaya - along with friends Ranjana Bhargava and Mohini Pai. All were activists, professionals, and leaders in their communities, who throughout the mid-...

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Interreligious Activity in San Diego Since September 11 (2002)

Following the events of September 11, the atmosphere in San Diego was particularly tense. Three of the hijackers involved in the attacks were from the San Diego area, and San Diego has a strong military presence that includes the North Island Naval Air Station, Fort Rosencranz Military Reservation, Imperial Beach Naval Air Station, U.S. Naval Communication Center, and US Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Immediately following the events, Rev. Freeman, a minister in Chula Vista, organized an interfaith prayer service for that weekend. The next week during a regularly scheduled...

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4th Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies Conference (2015)

On May 8th-10th, 2015, the University of California, Riverside (UCR) hosted the 4th Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies Conference. This year’s theme was “Living and Making Sikhi in the Diaspora: The Millennial Generation Comes of Age.” As the largest Sikh studies conference in North America, the three-day event brought together Sikh studies scholars, young Sikh activists living in the diaspora, as well as students and community members to “explore the ways in which millennial Sikhs of the diaspora are making and living Sikhi in various settings...

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Death in Boston: Dying, Mourning, and Religious Difference (2014)

This report explores the history and modern practices surrounding death and mourning in Boston's religious communities.

Scholars and critics often point to an American tradition of death and mourning that dominates our culture’s funeral rites. It is at once derided and celebrated: for some, it represents a brutal scheme of extortion and abuse; for others a tasteful way to dispose of the dead.[1] For all, this tradition is a uniquely American event, one with no precedent in either American or Christian religious history.

This reading of...

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Interfaith Worker Justice National Conference (2014)

The Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) National Conference, this year themed “Coming Together: Building a Just Economy,” took place from June 22- June 24, 2014 in Chicago Illinois. The conference was held at DePaul University’s Student Center. Over 500 people attended the conference, including members of interfaith groups and worker centers, students, pastors, congregation leaders, and worker justice activists. Multiple faith traditions were represented, including Christians from a variety of denominations, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists. Resources and translators were available in both...

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Faith and Legal Work Interfaith Conference at Harvard Law School (2014)

A network of five faith-based student organizations at Harvard Law School co-hosted the first Interfaith Conference on Faith & Legal Work on March 3, 2014. The conference brought together local practitioners, scholars, and students in the field to discuss the intersection of religious identity and professional practice. Organizers estimated that 60-70 participants, including law school students, divinity school students, and other community members, joined panel sessions and a reception at Wasserstein Hall at the Law School. Three panels comprised the event and highlighted...

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