Jesuits and their colleagues in the United States are committed to the integral development of students in Jesuit high schools. We know that this maturity involves well-grounded intellectual, moral, and religious development, and that in today's pluralistic world this too involves the ability to interact thoughtfully and maturely with people of other religious faiths, their beliefs, practices, and traditions. The High School Committee first compiled data on religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue in 2001-2002. In the summer of 2007 Carol Corgan conducted surveys and discussed religious pluralism at the JSEA meeting. At our annual fall meeting of 2007 the project was further revived and is headed by Carol Corgan firstname.lastname@example.org and Ray Bucko, S.J. email@example.com. We have undertaken four projects:
In order to expand participation in our discussion list and to more effectively gather data about religious pluralism in Jesuit school we have asked teachers in Jesuit high schools to recommend themselves and colleagues to join our discussion list and provide data. Our group is expanding gradually and we hope for fuller participation and to serve as a resource and network hub among the different Jesuit schools.
Our committee sponsors a discussion list for teachers and administrators at Jesuit high schools interested in issues of religious pluralism, teaching about other religions, and interreligious dialogue in Jesuit high schools. Any employee of a Jesuit high school is welcome to join this list. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Guides to Teaching Religious Pluralism in Jesuit High Schools:
We have begun updating a chart showing each Jesuit High School and indicating their courses related to interreligious dialogue taught at Jesuit Institutions. Our hope is that this guide will serve as a resource for others at Jesuit schools and elsewhere interested in teaching about different religions on a high school level.
Religious Pluralism and Campus Ministry:
In 2001 Frank Clooney, S.J. sent letters to the campus minister(s) at each Jesuit high school to ask how religious pluralism is incorporated into the life of the school. He received 11 replies which are now quite dated. We plan in the future once our grass roots network is stronger to revive this project and ask campus ministers about religious pluralism and their ministry at the schools.
Survey on Religious Pluralism:
Once our network is stronger we also plan to conduct a survey to better portray the realities of religious pluralism at Jesuit High Schools. We we ask demographic questions about the religious makeup of our schools including faculty and staff, students and the surrounding region, teaching about religious pluralism (already partly covered in our guide), and best practices among the schools that have helped advance interreligious understanding and dialogue.
It is essential today to engage in interreligious dialogue in the context of a contemporary understanding of the sources, histories, and conceptual complexities connected with religions and the study of them. This broader context involves the humanities, but also perspectives developed in the social sciences, including anthropology, sociology, and political science. This project, to be undertaken in a conversation among scholars in Theology and Religious Studies Departments at Jesuit colleges and universities, will highlight resources and trends in the study of religion that will be of use among those interested in dialogue and its conceptual bases.
As part of our research into programs geared towards cross-religions understanding and interreligious dialogue the committee has compiled a list of courses in World Religion Courses taught as part of the core curriculum and a list of World Religion courses taught as part of an undergraduate major in theology and/or religious studies.
Engaging Particularlites: Interreligious Dialouge among Theology StudentsAn initiative of the Board designed by Francis X. Clooney, S.J. and doctoral student Tracy Tiemeier, "Engaging Particularities: New Directions in Comparative Theology, Inter-Religious Dialogue, Theology of Religions, and Missiology" has built a tradition marked by camaraderie, scholarship, and connection. This graduate student conference, held annually at Boston College, brings interested students from Jesuit theology and ministry departments together with learning communities from other theology departments, seminaries, and divinity schools to explore over a spring weekend the history, current trends, and future directions of the emerging inter-religious academic fields. You can also access conference papers dating back to 2006.
Interreligious Dialogue and Ministry among Native Peoples
Jesuits Discuss Importance of Native American Ministry John Borelli
As part of Fr. Clooney's work as Coordinator for Interreligious Dialogue in Jesuit-related ministries in the United States, he would appreciate hearing from readers of this web page their reflections on interfaith marriages, i.e., marriages between Catholic and non-Christian persons. General commentaries welcome but also specifically: If you have counseled couples planning such marriages, what kinds of problems have arisen, and what kind of advice has been helpful? If you have helped plan or presided at such a ceremony, what issues have arisen regarding the ceremony? If you are a spouse in such a marriage, what have you learned about religious harmony and differences from the experience? Responses may be sent to Fr. Clooney, S.J. in writing (Jesuit Community, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3802) or (preferably) by email (email@example.com). Collated responses will be posted on this web site.
Francis X. Clooney, S.J.
ArticlesRita George Tvrtkovic When Muslims and Christians Marry. Electronically reproduced with permission of America Magazine.
Work with Interfaith Couples As America becomes more culturally and religiously diverse, opportunities to meet and marry across religious boundaries increase. Yet there are few resources for interfaith couples, especially Christians and Muslims.
Web SitesMuslim/Christian Marriage Support Group: This internet site, representing an organization located in England, announces itself as: "A Network for people involved in or affected by Muslim / Christian Marriage".
Our contemporary efforts in developing the potential for interreligious dialogue and cooperation in Jesuit-related ministries around the United States is a new initiative, but one with deep roots in Jesuit history and tradition. Beginning with St. Francis Xavier, Jesuits in the first centuries of the Society pioneered the study of religions and cultures around the world, and contributed greatly to the development of modern understandings of religions. Much research has been done on individual missionaries in various parts of the world - the Jesuits in China, for instance, have been well studied - but this project, aimed at a wider audience and not just at specialist scholars, will aim at integrating the wisdom we learn from the worldwide Jesuit tradition. Here we list just several resources for this anticipated project:
a) "A Charism for Dialogue: Advice from the Early Jesuit Missionaries in our World of Religious Pluralism," an essay by Francis X. Clooney, S.J
b) A brief bibliography from the above forthcoming essay
c) The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents Project
Campus ministry at Jesuit universities and colleges offers a vital arena in which Roman Catholics work together with people of other faith traditions and others who share many of the values and commitments cherished in the Catholic and Jesuit traditions. The relationship between dialogue and campus ministry is a major agenda item for the national meeting of Jesuit Campus Ministries in March 2002 in Phoenix, Arizona Many initiatives are already occurring under the auspices of these campus ministry offices, and our hope is to locate here information from the different campuses which can be of help to all of us around the United States. Here we list thus far just several resources:
Rev. Alexei Michalenko, Sr. Dorinda Young, SSJ, Rabbi Mark Robbins Campus Ministry To All The Nations
Goddess in the Classroom: Is the Promotion of Religious Diversity a Dangerous Idea?
Francis X Clooney, S.J.
This essay was written for an issue of Conversations in Jesuit Higher Education (Fall 1999) commemorating the deaths of the six Jesuits, their cook and her daughter in El Salvador in 1989; the issue had the general title, Do Ideas have Dangerous Consequences? In this essay Frank Clooney puts forward the thesis that we are better off if we attend positively and attentively to the religious diversity that flourishes on Jesuit campuses today.
Site Launched: December 3, 2000