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News Archives - Theology | 2014

  • Jonathan VanAntwerpen appointed new Program Director for Theology

    The Luce Foundation is happy to announce that Jonathan VanAntwerpen will be joining the staff as the new Program Director for Theology, beginning on July 8th, 2014. Jonathan is currently on the staff of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), where he is the founder and director of the Religion and the Public Sphere program, editor-in-chief of The Immanent Frame, and the director of the recently launched Digital Culture program. Originally trained at Calvin College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he received his doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Jonathan is coeditor of a set of edited volumes on secularism, religion, and public life. He has also co-organized conferences and public events at leading universities, and has for the past several years been a visiting scholar at New York University's Institute for Public Knowledge.

  • 2014-2015 Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology announced.

  • News Archives - Theology | 2013

  • Interfaith Youth Core to bring interfaith studies to the classroom
  • A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the efforts of the Interfaith Youth Core to introduce interfaith studies to university curricula. With the help of a Luce grant to the Council of Independent Colleges, IFYC, a Chicago-based organization headed by author and activist Eboo Patel, has begun training 120 professors in the Council’s member colleges in how to teach interfaith studies, with the aim of moving interfaith education from “niche to norm” in university classrooms. The article (available only to subscribers) describes in detail Patel’s quest to make religious understanding a core part of undergraduate education.

  • 2013-2014 Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology selected.
  • For a full profile on each of the Fellows, click here.

    News Archives - Theology | 2012

  • ATS revises accrediting standards to require multifaith education

  • At its biennial meeting in June 2012, the membership of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) voted to revise its accrediting standards so that all member seminaries are required to “engage students with the global character of the church as well as ministry in multifaith and multicultural contexts.” This represents a major step both for the ATS and for the Henry Luce Foundation, who have been working together over the past several years to promote theological education that will prepare students in U.S. seminaries for service in a religiously diverse society.

    News Archives - Theology | 2008

  • In December 2008, the Theology Program awarded a $30,000 grant to the Center for Multifaith Education at Auburn Theological Seminary to both carry out a survey of the state of multifaith education at American seminaries, and to produce an online resource for seminary faculty. The survey was completed in November 2009. The report, “Beyond World Religions: The State of Multifaith Education in American Theological Schools,” and the microsite of materials for seminary faculty, can now be found online.

  • News Archives - Theology | 2007

  • Theology Consultation on Religious Pluralism

  • In October of 2007, the Luce Foundation’s Theology Program introduced a group of theological educators to experts on religious pluralism. Together, they examined the theological, methodological and pedagogical issues found in encouraging schools of theology to prepare their graduates for work and service in a multi-faith world. Participants identified those in the theological education community who are engaged with these issues, and considered appropriate partner institutions for this task. They also reviewed a variety of models for, and best practices of, multi-faith education, and advised the Luce Foundation about funding strategies to equip emerging religious leaders with stronger understanding of, and respect for, other traditions.

    This “Theology Consultation on Religious Pluralism” was held at the Desmond Tutu Center at General Theological Seminary in New York City, and involved forty-two participants.

    News Archives - Theology | 2001

  • Crossroads: Art and Religion

  • The Henry Luce Foundation announces the publication of Crossroads: Art and Religion in American Life, in collaboration with the Center for Arts and Culture in Washington, D.C. and published by The New Press. This book of essays is the result of a seven-year, multi-faceted project of research, scholarship, convenings, and community initiatives and endeavors to answer two fundamental questions: what links the arts and religion in American life, and what contributes to their separation?

    Motivated by the Foundation's programmatic interests in both the arts and theology, and by instances of conflict between these two significant realms of American life as reported by scholars and by the press in recent years, the Luce Foundation initiated the research project Art and Religion in American Life. Activities date back to a 1994 conference that was intended to move beyond slogans and rhetoric and get at the root causes why, given their many similarities, art and religion are often perceived as adversaries, and why religious language is used to justify attacks on the arts.

    Since that time, the Foundation has supported a three-part social science research agenda which is reveals much about Americans' experiences with arts and religion, and the perceived relationships between them. Briefly, the research projects are: 1) the insertion of questions on this subject in the 1998 General Social Survey and in the National Congregations Study, both of which report on the prevailing attitudes of contemporary Americans, conducted by Harvard professor Peter Marsden; 2) an "Elite Interviews Project" consisting of in-depth interviews with art and religious leaders nationwide, conducted by Princeton professor Robert Wuthnow; 3) case studies of community confrontations between religious and arts values in one major city, conducted by Princeton professor Paul DiMaggio.

    The Foundation gathered additional information from several meetings held in 1998 and 1999. The first session included scholars and foundation representatives, and another convened humanities scholars to broaden the discussion. The role that the press plays in the ongoing relationship between the arts and religious communities, an important missing link, was explored in a meeting of journalists. And an artists' forum was convened in Spring 2000 as the final component of the Foundation's research. Building on the research, the Foundation is also working with leaders in the Twin Cities to develop a national model for community interaction.

    Crossroads features a preface by Garry Wills and essays by Neil Harris, Robert Wuthnow, Peter Marsden, Paul DiMaggio, David Halle, Sally Promey, and Amei Wallach. The book is edited by Alberta Arthurs and Glenn Wallach and is available through The New Press (800-233-4830).

    A monograph on this subject is also available from Americans for the Arts (800-321-4510).

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    Theology News Archives