ReligionAndPublicLife.com is a product of the talent and hard work of kind and competent colleagues. We are grateful to work with and learn from them all. We are honored to have this opportunity to fulfill our purpose and to collaborate on a timely and timeless initiative that none of us can create alone.
ReligionAndPublicLife.com is a project of 1791 Delegates, a delegation of First Amendment and human rights educators named after the year the Bill of Rights was ratified. 1791 Delegates launched this project while education institutions were helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by moving all in-person courses online.
ReligionAndPublicLife.org is sponsored by The Foundation for Religious Literacy. Managed by 1791 Delegates, the foundation fosters interreligious literacy and understanding through educational outreach programs such as this site. The Foundation supports educational outreach programs that assist leaders in realizing how religion affects the global society in which we live. The Foundation affirms that religious literacy and interreligious understanding enables a deeper appreciation of the cultures within which we conduct our work; seeks to cultivate empathetic understanding of the religious influences that shape the workplace enhances professional effectiveness, ethical leadership, and personal conduct.
We are honored to welcome The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations as one of the founding partners of ReligionAndPublicLife.org. The AVDF promotes mutual understanding among faith traditions in America. Their programs advance the principle that religious diversity is essential to civil discourse within a democracy and that leaders in all walks of life are more effective through an appreciation for the religious views of others.
ReligionAndPublicLife.com is proud to feature content from the Canopy Forum, a digital publication from the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. The Canopy Forum produces expert analysis for the broader community of digital consumers: citizens, scholars, lawyers, clergy, journalists, policy makers, and more. By taking advantage of contemporary means for content delivery – from short essays and thematic text primers to video interviews and podcasts – this website engages a global network of the top minds in law and religion to produce sophisticated and accessible content for a contemporary age. By providing accurate information, expert analysis, and contextualized explanation of issues impacting America and the world, Canopy Forum addresses the growing concern for an understanding of law and religion, bringing these issues to the forefront of American public discourse in an informed, nuanced, and productive way.
The Centre for Civic Literacy (CCRL), Le centre de littératie religieuse civique (CLRC), is a non-religious organization that develops civic religious literacy in order to promote the public understanding of religious, non-religious, and spiritual perspectives and communities across Canada. Thanks to its executive director, Dr. W. Y. Alice Chan, the leaders at CCRL-CLRC have been instrumental in shaping the vision and scope of ReligionAndPublicLife.com.
Institute for Religion and Education at the University of Northern Iowa promotes the study of and education about Constitutionally appropriate treatment of religion in public schools and higher education in the areas of teaching, research, curriculum, and policy. It is the editorial home of the peer-reviewed journal, Religion & Education, published by Taylor and Francis and of the book series, Research on Religion and Education, published by Routledge. The Institute also sponsors activities and collaborates in projects in support of its mission, such as ReligionAndPublicLife.org
1791 Delegates is honored to partner with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in the creation of the course sequence on American Muslims: Law & Society. Since 2002, ISPU has been at the forefront of discovering trends and opportunities that impact the American Muslim community. Our research aims to educate the general public and enable community change agents, the media, and policymakers to make evidence-based decisions. In addition to building in-house capacity, ISPU has assembled leading experts across multiple disciplines, building a solid reputation as a trusted source for information for and about American Muslims.
The course sequence on Religion & Human Rights draws from the research of Drs. Lyal S. Sunga and Nathan C. Walker, authors of Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Law: Current Dilemmas and Lessons Learned, a publication of the International Law and Development Organization. This project was commissioned and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Italian Republic and presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2014.
All students enrolled in Jefferson University’s AMST 114 with Dr. Nathan C. Walker will receive academic credit for completing Case Studies: Current Controversies. As a faculty member at Jefferson University, Dr. Nathan C. Walker developed this course sequence for students in the College of Humanities. Also known as, “Topics in American Studies,” this course examines the intersection of religion, law, and politics in the United States with special attention to cultivating study’s legal and religious literacy about the moral issues of our time, such as the separation of migrant families at the U.S./Mexico border, wedding vendors’ conscientious objection to serving same-sex couples, and the Trump administration’s travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries.
We are honored to receive pro-bono support from the web-design and marketing specialists at Modus Capital, a hybrid venture capital & operating firm based in New York with offices in Los Angeles and Cairo, Egypt. The Modus team has been essential in creating the technological and marketing blueprints on which we are building ReligionAndPublicLife.org. We are honored to include Modus as one of our founding partners in this joint venture.
ReligionAndPublicLife.org is honored to integrate into the courses the OpenMind method. It is is an interactive, psychology-based platform designed to foster intellectual humility, empathy, and mutual understanding across a variety of differences. OpenMind equips people with the essential cognitive skills and shared language to overcome their differences and work together to solve their collective problems. The OpenMind Platform provides a set of tools which universities, organizations, and corporations can use to depolarize their communities. OpenMind was co-founded by Professor Jonathan Haidt at New York University and Dr. Caroline Mehl.
Five courses are based on handbooks published by Oxford University Press. For instance, Dr. Michael D. Waggoner and Dr. Nathan C. Walker developed the course series Religion & American Education, based on their work as the coeditors of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education (Oxford University Press 2018). Dr. Diane Winston developed the course series on Religion & American News bas on her work as editor of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American News Media.
Dr. Nathan C. Walker and Dr. Edwin J. Greenlee, founding delegates of 1791 Delegates, coedited the book, “Whose God Rules? Is the United States a Secular Nation or a Theolegal Democracy?” published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote the foreword; contributors included Martha Nussbaum and Kent Greenawalt. Cornel West called the book “provocative and pioneering.” This book is the intellectual basis for the course series, Case Study Theolegal Democracy.
As a trustee of the Public Religion Research Institute, Dr. Nathan C. Walker developed the course sequence on Religion & American Politics based on PRRI’s research on religious demographics and the intersection of religion and reproductive health, immigration, and LGBT people. Walker uses the political science frameworks of tolerance and contempt to measure the health of society, as published in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, edited by Paul A. Djupe, also a PRRI trustee.
Founded by Dr. Nathan C. Walker and Dr. Kate E. Soules, ReligionAndEd.com is another project of The Foundation for Religious Literacy and 1791 Delegates. It serves as the online space to support individual researchers through the Religion and Education Collaborative and to support institutions through the Religion and Education Consortium. This network of researchers helped inform the design of the ReligionAndPublicLife.com curriculum.
Chaired by Dr. Nathan C. Walker, Religion & Education is a special interest group (SIG) of the American Education Research Association. The group provides an academic and research forum to present and discuss diverse issues relevant to religious education and the relationship between religion and educational outcomes. This network of researchers helped inform the design of the ReligionAndPublicLife.com curriculum.
The educational videos featured on ReligionAndPublicLife.com are powered by Religion for Breakfast, an educational YouTube channel dedicated to the academic, nonsectarian study of religion. Hosted by Andrew Henry, the videos strive to raise the level of conversation about religion and public life. Religion for Breakfast offers our content creators a space to draft scripts for Andrew Henry to produce and record and host on his highly acclaimed YouTube channel. This process ensures high production value while giving online leaners a friendly face to follow across the curriculum.
The modules on religious literacy and religious liberty in business are informed by the research produced by scholars at the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. Special thanks to Dr. Brian J. Grim, president, and Greg Clark, JD, vice president, for their support on this project.
In their roles as the editor-in-chief and associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Religion & Education (Routledge Taylor & Francis), Dr. Michael D. Waggoner and Dr. Nathan C. Walker developed a companion course that mirrors the content of the special edition of the journal on religious literacy. This special edition, coedited by Dr. W. Y. Alice Chan, served as the basis for the course series on Religious Literacy.
All students enrolled in the Rutgers University course Religious Liberty and Religion & Human Rights with Dr. Nathan C. Walker will receive academic credit for completing the online course sequence at ReligionAndPublicLife.com. Students not currently enrolled at Rutgers who wish to also receive academic credit are encouraged to contact an advisor at ReligionAndPublicLife.com to learn more. In his role as a faculty member at Rutgers, Dr. Nathan C. Walker teaches in the Rutgers Honors College and the Department of Philosophy of Religion. His courses expose students to the history of religious liberty in America from the colonial period to today as well as to the international frameworks for studying religion and human rights.
The course series on Religion in Early America is based on the research of Dr. Peter Manseau as presented in the exhibit on religion in early American and the companion book, Objects of Devotion. His research emphasizes how religion can be understood through the objects, both rare and everyday, around which Americans of every generation have organized their communities and built this nation. Objects of Devotion: Religion in Early America, by Dr. Peter Manseau, tells the story of religion in the United States through the material culture of diverse spiritual pursuits in the nation’s colonial period and the early republic. The beautiful, full-color companion volume to a Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibition, the book explores the wide range of religious traditions vying for adherents, acceptance, and a prominent place in the public square from the 1630s to the 1840s.
In an increasingly polarized world, Spirited taps into the wisdom of leaders and activists who will help illuminate how spirituality informs action. Hosted by educator, activist and writer Dr. Simran Jeet Singh, this podcast explores life through the perspectives of diverse spiritual thinkers, practitioners and teachers. These episodes are featured in the online courses at ReligionAndPublicLife.com and powered by Vennly.
The podcasts featured on ReligionAndPublicLife.com are powered by Vennly, an audio app named after the Venn Diagram that illustrates the intersecting circles that connect us all. Vennly offers our content creators a custom, web-based audio recording suite and provides our faculty tech support, content development guidance, and production. Vennly’s recording suite allows our experts to record audio from their home. The Vennly team produces the media, ensuring quality across the courses. The audio is not only published on ReligionAndPublicLife.com but also on the Vennly app (iOS can be found here and Android can be found here). Vennly also offers web-players that faculty and students can use to share on Facebook, Twitter, and via email. Here’s an example of the web-player. To learn more visit joinvennly.com.
We are grateful for the technical support to the following professionals who have helped to make this site possible. Nate Walker built the site from scratch in the spring of 2020 using WordPress and Elementor plugins. We are particularly grateful to Dynamic Content for Elementor and DevsCred’s Exclusive Addons. SiteGround is our host an offers exceptional tech support and services.