Pluralism in Practice: Case Studies of Leadership in a Religiously Diverse America
By: Elinor J. Pierce
“Instructive and enlightening.”-Publisher’s Weekly
"Elinor Pierce’s Pluralism in Practice is an important contribution to the development of leaders who engage in interfaith work. It is my belief, as one who has been involved in this work for many years, that Pluralism in Practice will prove extremely helpful as we navigate what has become choppy waters, where arguments for religious liberty and freedom have become in many cases self-serving and exclude the beliefs and practices of others. May we choose a different path, one that embraces pluralism rather than resisting it." -Robert Cornwall, Ponderings on a Faith Journey
Pluralism is an ethic for living together in a society as diverse as ours is today. This accessible collection of twelve case studies in pluralism in practice includes brief scenarios, framing questions, and updates on some of the key dilemmas and decisions we encounter in our multireligious encounters and lives. The book is an introduction to the case method created at Harvard University’s The Pluralism Project, inviting close reading, reflection, and discussion into the dilemmas and disputes of our multireligious society for people who are professionally or passionately involved in developing and fostering our multireligious future.
Each featured case study begins with a brief scenario. These scenarios, informed by the case method, serve as an introduction to the case text, including key questions to consider. An edited version of the (A) case study follows, bringing thick description and rich detail to each dilemma, and ending at the point of decision. This decision point structures the narrative, generates reflection, and energizes discussion as the reader pauses to consider an additional set of questions. This is followed by an edited version of the (B) case, which describes how the decision or dilemma was resolved. After each, the author provides an update on the protagonist and the specific problem they faced.
Elinor (Ellie) Pierce is the research director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. She is the co-editor of With the Best of Intentions (Orbis, 2023). Ellie wrote chapters in the Georgetown Companion to Interreligious Studies (Georgetown, 2022) and Interreligious/Interfaith Studies: Defining a New Field (Beacon, 2018). She has contributed to a range of other publications and media projects, including On Common Ground: World Religions in America and World Religions in Boston: A Guide to Communities and Resources. Ellie is the producer/director of the documentary film Abraham's Bridge (forthcoming); she co-produced and co-directed the documentary Fremont, U.S.A. (2009) and helped to develop Acting on Faith: Women’s New Religious Activism in America (2005). She earned her Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School.
Diana L. Eck has taught at Harvard since 1976. Since 1991, she has headed the Pluralism Project.
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